New Order: Bernard Sumner (vocals, guitar); Gillian Gilbert (keyboards, synthesizer); Peter Hook (bass); Stephen Morris (drums, background vocals).
Following the critical dismissal of their previous record, BROTHERHOOD, New Order was at something of a crossroads in their career. TECHNIQUE (1989) found them back in favor as antecedents to a pair of oddly related trends: songs about the British tradition of holidays in Spain, and acid-house music. The first of these trends was adopted by everyone from Blur to the Pet Shop Boys. As for the second, while vacationing in Ibiza, a Spanish island in the Mediterranean, the band was impressed by a fleeting dance style then prevalent in the clubs there. TECHNIQUE was the band's own take on that sound, and eventually, this adaptation became one of the touchstones of acid-house music.
The album is an effective mix of strange, sampled sounds (something at which the band had always excelled), propulsive beats, and Bernard Sumner's ever-improving vocal style. "Fine Time," "Round & Round," and "Mr. Disco" are New Order at their most assertive, while "All the Way" and "Love Less" show their more pop-oriented side. The album's standout track "Run" sounds as though the band had rediscovered the power of simple bursts of guitar, with searing solos cutting into the smooth beats.
Q (9/93, p.97) - 5 Stars - Indispensible - "...[TECHNIQUE] is the soundtrack for the cynical summer of love...good times never felt so good..."
CMJ (1/5/04, p.26) - Ranked #19 in CMJ's "Top 20 Most-Played Albums of 1989"
Q (Magazine) (p.122) - 5 stars out of 5 -- "New Order's final '80s album made their previous four seem like preliminary sketches....[A] masterpiece."
Mojo (Publisher) (9/01, p.86) - "...As well as being the pinnacle of their joyously cathartic pop-techno, TECHNIQUE was also Bernard Sumner's finest songwriting hour..."
NME (Magazine) (10/2/93, p.29) - Ranked #42 in NME's list of the `Greatest Albums Of All Time.'
Blender (Magazine) (p.66) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "They bid a graceful farewell with 1989's TECHNIQUE, paying tribute to the Ibiza acid-house club scene they'd made possible."
Record Collector (magazine) (p.101) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "TECHNIQUE not only embraced the burgeoning acid/rave scene, but became as much a defining album of the time as The Stone Roses' debut from the same year, 1989."