One of the reasons why I love Technique so much – aside from the fact that it was the perfect album for me at a perfect age, and aside from the strength of its dance tracks – is that its acoustic numbers sound so exuberant compared with the previous album, and they are interspersed on the LP rather than conceptually grouped together a-la Brotherhood’s A-side. Technique is a beautifully produced album that proffers the best of New Order’s many facets in a much more cohesive body of work.
All The Way contains one of my all-time favourite lyrics from Bernard: ‘It takes years to find the nerve to be apart from what you’ve done; to find the truth inside yourself, and not depend on anyone.‘ Over the years Bernard has had – contrary to what he tells us (or at least his hairdresser) on NewOrderStory – various messages for the world, and sprinkled across Technique are various bon mots of wisdom that meant much to me, and which I’ll explore through these reviews. In this case his reassurance that (to paraphrase) you’ll get there mate, find your own way was one that really hit the mark. These lyrics really spoke to me at a formative time in my life, and when combined with All The Way’s lush backing track and performance, the song’s impact was pronounced.
Vocally-speaking, and with 20-20 hindsight, I now reckon Bernard’s performances reached a peak in the late ’80s and early ’90s. He found his voice and the production values found him; emotive and with his own distinctively youthful tenor sound, using just the right amount of reverb and harmony, and with confidence issues seemingly in the past. His nervy and endearingly deadpan approach borne out of neccesity during the early years are a fond memory, plus he is still a decade away from flying dangerously close to the black hole of wannabe bluesy / rock / britpop swagger during the ‘Whatcha Doin‘ years. Thank God we got him back on Music Complete…
All The Way is a lovely song; straight-forward in structure and a classic merging of rock and electronic sensibilities. The guitar work is gorgeous – listen for the Marr-like jangles in the chorus which then morph into Sumner’s quintessential percussive style during the verses and breaks. Hooky’s bass rolls up and down in his inimitable and wonderful way, but he is indeed – as he notes often in his book – mixed down here and elsewhere on the LP, but IMHO it makes for a smoother and more balanced sound. But… its the sumptuous and uplifting string / synth / oboe / bass instrumental breaks and outro in All The Way which reinforce it as a near-classic in my book.
A high point on an album of remarkable highs.
Available on: Technique