Here’s where Republic starts to lose me for a while.
Liar is just too middle-of-the-road for my liking; being smooth, gentle & soft (at least 3-ply), tuneful, with lyrics like ‘I used up nearly all my love‘, and closes out with some ‘do-do-di-do-doo’s‘. Unfortunately – and particularly in 1993 – I wasn’t ready for New Order to be a purveyor of supermarket music, but hey… these days Liar is great to hum to whilst checking out the daily bargains, and I reckon the song works best in the bakery section and not the dairy aisle – where not-dissimilar music from The Kane Gang, Howard Jones and Spandau Ballet strikes a better chord with the punters. See for yourself!
It’s as if the whole studio production – instead of passing through a pipeline of interesting programming, songmanship, and effects – has been passed by Hague & the band through an Earl Grey teabag. Even Hooky’s 10 seconds of bass glory has been toned down as a courtesy to fellow patrons. It’s all just so seemly. The 2 or 3 highlights in Liar – including the ‘If that’s what it takes, I’ll do it‘ coda to the chorus (and indeed Dee Lewis’ backing vocals), plus the string pads in the instrumental break – are all that remain in my thoughts long after the song has sauntered by in its comfortable shoes.
For me, Liar is neither challenging or remarkable – it’s a mild album track for mollifying shoppers, but it’s certainly better than what follows…
Available on: Republic