New Order - "Restless" (Singles Going Steady)

"Restless" will appear on New Order's upcoming Peter Hook-less album, Music Complete, releasing via Mute Records on September 25th.

I've been to listening to New Order for 30 years now, and I can say with complete confidence that this is the first New Order single in their storied history that brings nothing, absolutely nothing to the table. The band is on complete autopilot, playing a second-rate mid tempo jam that you'd expect from a lower-rung Arts & Crafts band. Sure, it's brisk, and Gillian's synths sound pretty, but they've gone to an overused well and have finally yielded nothing. The bass melody is an insult to Peter Hook, and as for Barney, he's not restless at all. He sounds bored to tears. As am I. For its level of sheer disappointment, this is easily one of the worst singles I've heard all year. -- ADRIEN BEGRAND [1/10]

No one pours new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the wine will burst the skins. “Restless" takes me back to Club Paradiso in Amsterdam, a church converted into a dance club. There is a reason why New Order never grow old or fade. Their sound has become archetypal of not only an era, but also of specific nighttime emotions. New Order has become synonymous with that eloquent longing that only comes at 3am after several glasses of champagne cognac and hours of dancing under the multicolored spotlights of a club. The world turns and we turn with it and in that dizzying waltz we grow reverent and speechless. “Restless” is the sound of sanctus bells calling the faithful to worship. -- DYLAN FREMONT [8/10]

For New Order fans, it's all about the man who isn't there -- Peter Hook. This track does a pretty nice job of making you not miss him, subbing a six-string for his trademark lead bass riff. Overall, the obvious mark is the "guitar-y" stuff on Technique, so at least they have a strong reference point. All that said, the song fails to do much other than sound like New Order and not suck, which might be good enough these days. -- JOHN BERGSTROM (6/10)

As far as the girth of '80s dance-rock bands go, most of them have rightfully fallen by the wayside in decades past as their acts had become increasingly convoluted. New Order are one of the few who still get it consistently right, and this latest single of theirs proves why. Maybe it was the 10-year waiting period, but the order’s sounding as fresh as ever here, with the return of Gillian Gilbert feeling especially epic on this triumphant track. -- JONATHAN FRAHM [8/10]

A remix-ready return to the synthesized sound cast by New Order in the mid-'80s and perfected by singer Bernard Sumner in Electronic with Johnny Marr. Classic yet fresh, all that’s missing from the mid-tempo “Restless” is Peter Hook’s rhythmic bass lines. -- ERIC RISCH [7/10]

The first single from New Order’s first new studio album in a decade (and the first without bassist Peter Hook) is curiously flat and listless. Bernard Sumner’s vocals are weak and quavery, and musically it sounds like a cover band trying to imitate classic New Order. The whole thing seems rather pointless, and only serves to remind us how great New Order once was. “Restless” is a pale echo of much better days. -- CHRIS GERARD 4/10]

Today's New Order sounds very much like the old New Order. The disaffected vocalist asks how much you need; well, the answer is more. While the band do a good job of sounding "Restless", this is meant to be music not performance art. Making the audience "Restless" isn't satisfactory in and of itself. -- STEVE HOROWITZ [6/10]





Reading Pandemics

Colonial Pandemics and Indigenous Futurism in Louise Erdrich and Gerald Vizenor

From a non-Native perspective, COVID-19 may be experienced as an unexpected and unprecedented catastrophe. Yet from a Native perspective, this current catastrophe links to a longer history that is synonymous with European colonization.


The 10 Best Films of Sir Alan Parker

Here are 10 reasons to mourn the passing of one of England's most interesting directors, Sir Alan Parker.


July Talk Transform on 'Pray for It'

On Pray for It, Canadian alt-poppers July Talk show they understand the complex dualities that make up our lives.


With 'Articulation' Rival Consoles Goes Back to the Drawing Board

London producer Rival Consoles uses unorthodox approaches on his latest record, Articulation, resulting in a stunning, beautiful collection.


Paranoia Goes Viral in 'She Dies Tomorrow'

Amy Seimetz's thriller, She Dies Tomorrow, is visually dazzling and pulsating with menace -- until the color fades.


MetalMatters: July 2020 - Back on Track

In a busy and exciting month for metal, Boris arrive in rejuvenated fashion, Imperial Triumphant continue to impress with their forward-thinking black metal, and death metal masters Defeated Sanity and Lantern return with a vengeance.


Isabel Wilkerson's 'Caste' Reveals the Other Kind of American Exceptionalism

By comparing the American race-based class system to that of India and Nazi Germany, Isabel Wilkerson makes us see a familiar evil in a different light with her latest work, Caste.


Anna Kerrigan Prioritizes Substance Over Style in 'Cowboys'

Anna Kerrigan talks with PopMatters about her latest film, Cowboys, which deviates from the common "issues style" approach to LGBTQ characters.


John Fusco and the X-Road Riders Get Funky with "It Takes a Man" (premiere + interview)

Screenwriter and musician John Fusco pens a soulful anti-street fighting man song, "It Takes a Man". "As a trained fighter, one of the greatest lessons I have ever learned is to walk away from a fight without letting ego get the best of you."


'Run-Out Groove' Shows the Dark Side of Capitol Records

Music promoter Dave Morrell's memoir, Run Out Groove, recalls the underbelly of the mainstream music industry.


It's a Helluva of a World in Alain Corneau's 'Série Noire'

Alain Corneau's Série Noire is like a documentary of squalid desperation, albeit a slightly heightened and sardonic one.


The 15 Best Americana Albums of 2015

From the old guard reaffirming its status to upstarts asserting their prowess, personal tales voiced by true artists connected on an emotional level in the best Americana music of 2015.


Dizzy's Katie Munshaw Keeps Home Fires Burning with 'The Sun and Her Scorch'

In a world turned upside down, it might be the perfect time to take a new album spin with Canadian dream-pop band Dizzy and lead singer-songwriter Katie Munshaw, who supplies enough emotional electricity to jump-start a broken heart.


Nkem Njoku and Ozzobia Brothers Bring Summery Highlife to 'Ozobia Special'

Summery synths bring highlife of the 1980s on a reissue of Nkem Njoku and Ozzobia Brothers' innovative Ozobia Special.


'The Upward Spiral' Is Nicolas Bougaïeff's Layered and Unique Approach to Techno

On his debut album for Mute, Berlin-based producer Nicolas Bougaïeff applies meticulous care and a deft, trained ear to each track, and the results are marvelous.


How BTS Always Leave You Wanting More

K-pop boy band BTS are masterful at creating a separation between their public personas and their private lives. This mythology leaves a void that fans willingly fill.


The Psychedelic Furs' 'Made of Rain' Is Their First Album in Nearly 30 Years

The first album in three decades from the Psychedelic Furs beats expectations just one track in with "The Boy That Invented Rock and Roll".


Fontaines D.C. Abandon the Familiar on 'A Hero's Death'

Fontaines D.C.'s A Hero's Death is the follow-up to the acclaimed Dogrel, and it features some of their best work -- alongside some of their most generic.

Collapse Expand Reviews

Collapse Expand Features
PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.