New Order: Bernard "Barney" Sumner, Gillian Gilbert, Peter Hook, Stephen Morris.
Recorded at Jam and Britannia Row Studios, London, England.
With LOW-LIFE, New Order truly hit their stride with their highly individual combination of infectious rhythms, inventive composition and performances full of conviction. The vulnerable lyrics and earnest delivery of Bernard Sumner are in top form; his voice is at last a completely developed instrument, clear and comfortable as it wraps itself around such memorable tracks as the opening "Love Vigilantes," a solid, purely guitar-driven narrative.
Following immediately and in sharp contrast is LOW LIFE's biggest success, "The Perfect Kiss," a sequencer-fueled dance classic which boasts what is undoubtedly pop music's only frog sample solo. "Sunrise" has an epic feel, filled with driving leads and Sumner's signature scratchy, frenetic rhythm playing. The album takes a serene turn on "Elegia," a beautiful, airy composition of echoey guitar lines and swirling synth textures.
Q (6/00, p.61) - Ranked #97 in Q's "100 Greatest British Albums"
Q (9/93, p.97) - 5 Stars - Indispensible - "...a stunner. New Order emerge as a fully-fledged dance act with marvellous songs covered with a metallic sheen..."
CMJ (1/5/04, p.16) - Ranked #2 in CMJ's "Top 20 Most-Played Albums of 1985"
Mojo (Publisher) (9/01, p.86) - "...Multi-textured, urgent squalls of techno-pop manna. The best driving album ever..."
NME (Magazine) (9/25/93, p.19) - Ranked #10 among The 50 Greatest Albums Of The '80s - "...New Order finally cracked it and made the perfect rock album you could also dance to..."
NME (Magazine) (10/2/93, p.29) - Ranked #50 in NME's list of the `Greatest Albums Of All Time.'
Blender (Magazine) (p.66) - 5 stars out of 5 -- "LOW-LIFE goes for vividly romantic club sounds, with a surprisingly playful sense of humor...'
Record Collector (magazine) (p.101) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "America fell for the band with 1985's LOW-LIFE, seduced by the emotional ennui of 'The Perfect Kiss' and the notion that guitars and synths don't have to be mutally exclusive in rock music."