The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - THE TAKE -


Three years ago, I upped sticks from Belfast to Lon­don. I was bat­tling my way through an hour and a half com­mute ev­ery morn­ing, through a frosty city, fi­nally ar­riv­ing to a job I re­ally didn’t en­joy. Of­ten, I’d leave and re­turn from the job in dark­ness, knack­ered. It was then that I be­came en­am­oured with Mu­sic Com­plete by New Or­der, their 10th stu­dio al­bum.

Mu­sic Com­plete’s thump­ing kick drums and driv­ing arpeg­gia­tors gave me en­ergy and made me feel gritty when I needed it. The way they’ve bal­anced metro­nomic form through ev­ery track with sweep­ing guitar riffs and synth washes – it’s been in­spir­ing to me. Songs like Aca­demic have one cir­cu­lar idea run­ning through the whole thing, giv­ing it this re­li­able driv­ing pulse but coun­ter­melodies keep it in­ter­est­ing. It’s fun, but it’s re­fined.

The writ­ing seemed to ap­ply so closely to my own life where I was go­ing through an an iso­lat­ing time and the al­bum made me feel less alone. I think that’s a marker of a good song – em­pa­thy. The al­bum tack­les melan­cholic top­ics head on with an up­lift­ing tone. If it taught me any­thing, it’s to keep things lyri­cally di­rect and give the in­stru­men­ta­tion finer de­tail.

I found so­lace in the open­ing track Rest­less. I loved the de­ter­mined ur­gency of Sin­gu­lar­ity, and Plas­tic just made me want to dance. Mu­sic Com­plete lev­elled with me, and it kept me go­ing when I needed it to. It’s the al­bum that re­minds me not to give up on progress. NIALL BYRNE

■ Ais­linn Lo­gan’s lat­est sin­gle is WaitOnMe and she plays Up­stairs at Whe­lan’s, Dublin, on Fri­day, Novem­ber23rd

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