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New Order – Technique (1989)

May 7, 2020

[Album 763/1001]

New Order appears to use 2 different techniques when recording a song.

As I theorized when I reviewed Low-Life (1985), there was a noticeable difference between their ‘Synth Pop’ tracks & their ‘Pop Synth’ tracks.

On Technique, their Wikipedia genre has changed to ‘Dance Rock,’ which I suppose could have a ‘Rock Dance’ inversion for theme continuity.

Instead, I’ll classify the different songs as different kinds of birthday cake.


Have you ever had a Costco cake?

When you’re at a party, with a large group of people, it gets the job done.

However, if it was my birthday, it would not be my first choice of celebratory dessert.

For starters, it’s almost entirely icing! And it’s not a divine buttercream icing where it would be a ‘too much of a good thing’ scenario. More just, too much.

And below the obscene amount of icing, there’s not much there.

But if it’s a big birthday party (remember those?), and people are dancing / playing / having a good time, it works.


emily cake


When at school, although I’m not actually a member of our school’s English department (and I’m not entirely sure my appearances were particularly encouraged / appreciated / tolerated), I always seemed to find my way to the department office when it was somebody’s birthday.

My friend Emily would inevitably make a ridiculously delicious cake and, because it would simply be rude not to do so, I’d inevitably enjoy multiple servings.

Though there would be icing / decorations (such as the sprinkles pictured above), it would literally be the icing on the cake.

The cake itself was the major selling point, the glaze was merely a bonus.

No sprinkles? No problem, the birthday cake would still be substantial & scrumptious.220px-New_Order_-_Technique


All of which (obviously?) is to say:

– Tunes like Fine Time are like Costco cakes. They’re the singles, they would have been large-crowd-pleasing dance floor anthems. There are synthesizers to spare, perfect for celebrating a birthday at a discotheque. And if you like your icing best when it’s immoderate & synthetic, then the tune is precisely as advertised, jackpot!

– Tunes like All The Way are like Emily’s cakes. The synths add a tasty layer but it’s far from the main selling point. Take away the sprinkles, it might not be as pretty, but it’s still pretty darn tasty. And I’d be honoured to celebrate my birthday with a slice or three!


Verbalize the Positive

I’m looking forward to going back to school, whenever that may be.

And Emily’s cakes would surely be on a ‘Top 5 things I’m looking forward to’ list!

From → 1980s

  1. Ah Dude, I’m sure the English Dept. enjoys you showing up to have a slice of Costco Cake.
    Costco has been rumoured to coming to town so many times something always comes up. Our town has a small town mentality which at times sucks. Ok that’s enough politics. lol

    Always go with your friends cake. Comes with the stamp of homemade which can never be beat.

    • Hear hear about homemade cakes – I was actually reading about a baker in Tbay that’s been delivering some delicious homemade goods recently!
      It’s fun to visit the English Department for sure. They tease me that my visits tend to coincide with cake days though, somehow I never miss a birthday!

      • Yes, she’s still been baking away but I think she’s taking the weekend off which she deserves!
        Keep crashing those English Dept cake bashes. If you don’t go they will all wonder where you are??

      • Glad to hear Sue’s taking the weekend off, that’s important to do self-care too – and that’s a good point Deke, I’ll keep crashing, I wouldn’t want them to worry!

      • Tell those English Teacher Peeps of your’s I got your back!

  2. Very sweet, Geoff. 🙂

  3. I love this record. Probably my favourite from 1989.

    • Nice choice, I’d be keen to hear what else made the Top 5!

      • I don’t have an official top 5 yet! Hip hop records like De La Soul’s 5 Feet High and Beastie Boys Paul’s Boutique would have a good shot.

      • Both (unsurprisingly on the 1001) – I quite liked Paul’s Boutique. Haven’t got to De La Soul yet, it might be time!

      • It’s like the polar opposite of the late 1980s gangsta rap like N.W.A. – it’s all cute, cuddly, and funky.

      • That sounds like more of my scene!

  4. jprobichaud permalink

    I’m not a fan of Costco cakes either. And though I do love me some New Order, this is not my favourite album. In fact, I am currently working on putting together a list (surprise, surprise) of my favourite albums of 1989 and this one (*spoiler alert*) didn’t make the top ten cut.

    • I’m looking forward to that 1989 list – I think I’m with South Park when it comes to albums from that year, “Disintegration is the best album ever!”

      • jprobichaud permalink

        Yes, that’s a pretty fine album. However, I’ve already let slip one spoiler, I don’t want to let loose another. I’m hoping to start counting that one down in a couple weeks.

      • Understandable – I will not ask any more questions and I will wait patiently!

  5. It’s almost 7am and I want cake now for some strange reason!

    • Though I’d advise caution – I think it was a Tina Fey line in 30 Rock, “I ate cake for breakfast and now it’s 10:30 and I’m crying.” So the breakfast cake can lead to an emotional rollercoaster!

  6. Ah, this album brings back memories! I used to have this album cover on a t-shirt, but I lost it somehow…maybe at camp? I dunno. But in 1989, I had this album on a loop.

    • It’s a relatively trivial problem, but I find I’m still a bit disappointed about my band T-shirts that have gone missing over the years!
      This would have been a good one to have on a 1989 T-shirt, the colour scheme would have been appropriate for the times too!

      • It was white with the Technique statue on the front. It was from their Technique world tour. I also had another New Order tee from that tour, and that one too has gone missing.

      • 31 years later, perhaps it’s time for a ‘3rd time’s the charm’ with a new New Order T!

  7. talonthrasher permalink

    Great review, love New Order!

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. 1989 | 1001albumsin10years

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