With Peter Hook's departure in 2007, prospects for new material from New Order were looking increasingly dim, so the surprisingly workmanlike Bernard Sumner formed Bad Lieutenant to record his new songs. Sumner looked for help to various sources: latter-day New Order keyboardist Phil Cunningham; bassist Tom Chapman; a young Manchester head named Jake Evans for guitar, vocals, and a little songwriting; plus, on a few tracks, bassist Alex James of Blur and New Order drummer Stephen Morris. Sumner can't help but recall New Order as soon as he puts pen to paper or opens his mouth, but there are slight differences between this material and what he's been known for. If anything, Never Cry Another Tear accentuates the melodic guitar pop and straightforward lyricism of New Order's work in the 2000s. Although Hook is missed, the low end sounds quite good indeed in the capable hands of Chapman and James. As good as Hook's bass work was, its range was limited, and it's intriguing to hear a wider range of sounds here -- from sprightly Brit-pop on "Summer Days on Holiday" to the towering work on "Dynamo" that comes straight from the John Entwistle school (the song's nearly a rewrite of the Who's "Won't Get Fooled Again"). Of course, new bands have lower expectations than established bands, and while virtually every listener will contrast Never Cry Another Tear with New Order's best work, it has the sweep and grandeur of the group's classic moments.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by John Bush