We had stopped at a layby somewhere between London and Glasgow on a high school band tour. A group of us found every opportunity during this trip to scour music displays for cassettes we couldn’t get in the states. I remember being unimspressed by the selection at this particular layby, but that Tom came back thrilled by a New Order tape.
I wasn’t a New Order fan. For some reason—unknown to my sophmore (sophmoric) mind, my allegiance to the Smiths meant I couldn’t be a New Order fan. Don’t ask me why. The only reason I can think of now is the predominance of keyboards, but that doesn’t make much sense since I listened to other keyboard/drum machine bands. Besides I liked “Shellshock” on the Pretty in Pink soundtrack.
Then Johnny Marr teamed up with Bernard Sumner for Electronic. And I liked it.
Now years later my boys (6, 4, and 3 years old) dance to Electronic during playtime, and I’m trying to review Ceremony: A New Order Tribute.
Listening to Ceremony and these versions of New Order songs by this impressive, indie set of artists assembled by producer Sonshine Ward, I realize now that I should’ve been a fan of New Order all along. I was a school dance wallflower. New Order made dance music for the melacholic, introverted, depressed, heartbroken, romantic at the edge of crowd, taken up in the beat and heartstruck lyrics. This tribute delivers all of that again.
I don’t go to dances anymore, but I’m still a wallflower in many ways. Here’s another soundtrack as I dive into music to soothe me in between times of social interaction, caring for others, getting hurt in the process, and turning to introspection for solace.
Sunbears! sends out the urgent prayer of sorts on their version of “Thieves Like Us,” crying out over the growing electro-wash:
Now you live your life like a shadow
In the pouring rain
Oh, it’s called love
I’ve lived my life in the valleys
I’ve lived my life on the hills
I’ve lived my life on alcohol
I’ve lived my life on pills
But it’s called love
Jesus went away to be renewed in times of prayer. If they had been around, maybe New Order would’ve been His soundtrack. The melancholic Jesus saddened over the state of love in His Creation. The wallflower Jesus thrust into the center of controversy instead of just caring for those in the shadows. The heartbroken Jesus headed to the cross because “it’s called love.”
So I take copy of Ceremony in moments of stepping out for prayer and reflection on God’s Word, hearing His dancebeat for the melancholic….
Yes But No’s version of “Ceremony” sparkles with their youthful energy, maintains a haunting lilt through their airy voices, while it cooks along through the high hat rhythm. Yes But Not is Brianna and Skylar Ward (13 and 10 years old respectively), the daughter of producer, Sonshine Ward. However, the girls clearly didn’t just gain a place because of their mother. The song jumps out as one of my favorite tracks here.
Elsewhere on the 2-disc plus digital only bonus tracks are some other gems. Rabbit in the Moon’s take on “Blue Monday” remains faithful while having enough pop and fuzz to brighten up the day. Also, check out GD Luxxe on “60 Miles an Hour” and Jim Oakes’ singer/songwriter versions of “Love Vigilantes” and “Bizarre Love Triangle.”
Ceremony: A New Order Tribute
Yes But No