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Bad Lieutenant - Never Cry Another Tear

  by Anthony Dhanendran

published: 29 / 11 / 2009

Bad Lieutenant - Never Cry Another Tear
Label: Triple Echo
Format: CD


Likeable, but routine-in-sound debut album from Bad Lieutenant, the latest project of New Order's Bernard Sumners

Bernard Sumner must be one of the hardest-working men in rock - not content with being in two genre-defining bands of the 1970s and 1980s he went on to form Electronic with Johnny Marr and Neil Tennant. Now comes Bad Lieutenant, which comprises Sumner, new New Order guitarist Phil Cunningham and Jake Evans, along with guest appearances from Alex James and New Order's Stephen Morris. It's quite easy to spot a Bernard Sumner side project given his distinctive voice, but the jangly guitars are another dead giveaway, as are the drumming on some of the tracks here. Effectively, Bad Lieutenant is Sumner's continuation of New Order following the acrimonious split a couple of years ago, which itself followed the below-par album, 'Waiting for the Siren's Call'. The only thing missing here is Peter Hook's bass, and it turns out that's not such a big deal in context. Opening track 'Sink or Swim' could be a straight lift from New Order's 1993 album 'Regret', as could 'This is Home', and second track 'Twist of Fate' resembles Electronic, while the relaxed 'Running Out of Luck' is Balearic enough to have been on New Order's Ibiza-influenced 1989 album 'Technique'. 'Summer Days', meanwhile, lifts its opening beats from the Stone Roses. None of that is intended as a criticism - in fact, those songs are pretty good as things go - but it's hard to escape the feeling that what you're listening to is merely a pastiche of Bernard Sumner's greatest hits. There are some new flourishes such as the polished dance bridge two thirds of the way through 'Summer Days', which appears from within a haze of guitars. The lyrics are not to be dwelled upon - it never seemed to be a strong point in Sumner's past work and here the lyrics very from average to throwaway. Conversely, a few duds - principally 'Dynamo', 'Shine Like the Sun' and 'Runaway' - aside, the quality of the music on Never Cry Another Tear is high. The fact is that there's nothing new here - it's a run through the last 20 years in a single album of new material. You get the impression that the musicians don't care that much, though: even in its most energetic moments the one word that springs to mind when listening to 'Never Cry Another Tear' is 'relaxed'. Listening to it feels a bit like listening to a newly discovered tape of casual New Order recordings from the early 1990s, but if you're prepared to suspend present-day reality and set your mind back about 20 years while you're listening to it, it's worth a listen.

Track Listing:-
1 Sink Or Swim
2 Twist Of Fate
3 Summer Days
4 This Is Home
5 Running Out Of Luck
6 Dynamo
7 Poisonous Intent
8 These Changes
9 Walk On Silver Water
10 Shine Like The Sun
11 Runaway
12 Head Into Tomorrow
13 Falling Trees
14 Split The Atom

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live reviews

Ritz, Manchester, 23/10/2009
Bad Lieutenant - Ritz, Manchester, 23/10/2009
Aaron Brown finds Bad Lieutenant, the new project of New Order's Bernard Sumner and Stephen Morris, confusing their audience at their first hometown gig at the Ritz in Manchester

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