The symmetry of track ordering on albums has always interested me, not only as a music fan but music producer and label co-owner. Individual songs have of course always been a form of storytelling and poetry, but their combination and sequencing as part of a collection tells a story too, and very much dictates the emotion, peaks & troughs, and ebb & flow of the overall body of work. If you’ve ever made a mix-tape for your loved one you’ll concur that the ordering can be as important as the tracks themselves. When I published a book in 2014 on the history of electronic music here in Brisbane, I obsessed for months over the ‘right’ sequencing of ~260 tracks on the book’s companion USB archive.
The biorhythm of each New Order album is different, and in my opinion Republic has a very distinctive journey on each side of the LP of peak / dip / peak; side A starting with Regret + World and closing with Everyone Everywhere, and side B opening with Young Offender and closing with Special + Avalanche. I don’t listen to Republic in its entirety very often, but the lingering phospor-burn that the album has left in my mind – mainly because of its emotional flow – is pretty strong. If I’m asked ‘do you like Republic’ I will always say definitely, even though individually the album tracks are closer to 50:50 good vs. average. I wonder if the band thought equally of the aforementioned tracks as being the strongest on the album, and consciously sequenced them in this way, because one of Republic’s real qualities is the lasting effect of this flow; i.e open with your best shot and close it out with style, regardless of what transpires along the way.
Which brings me to Everyone Everywhere, a real highlight and one of my favourites on the album. It’s gorgeously produced, particularly how Hague and the band found such breadth and depth in the guitar mix, with quite a few layers of bass, lead and rhythm guitar interacting; starting with the rhythmic strumming under Bernard’s (beautifully performed ) vocals, the subtle additional textures that are added, Peter’s integral bass riffs, and the lush lead layers performed during the chorus. The primary bassline is synth-based, and has a nice ‘grain’ to it; a subtle but excellent touch of programming. Equal to the terrific guitar performances are the luscious and atmospheric synth layers. The last 30 seconds of the track soars upwards to Bernard’s repeated despair that ‘this world is gone‘. Sublime.
Unlike on Spooky, on Everyone Everywhere Hague nails the vocal mix and effects on Bernard’s performance; not overdoing the phasing, yet emphasizing Sumner’s natural sibilance with the perfect amount of reverb. The song itself has some lovely lines: ‘if we don’t take a chance in our spare sideways glance‘, ‘…and when we kiss we speak as one, with a single breath this world is gone‘ and ‘people change but we don’t falter, ’cause we know love is real‘; a typical Sumner treatise – namely that of love in a crisis. Also – unlike Spooky – the drum programming is crisp and complementary.
Everyone Everywhere is another of those wonderful rock/electronic crossover tracks that are such a hallmark of great New Order: starting with style, finishing with a flourish, and everything in-between is wonderful.
Available on: Republic