"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]