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New Order

'Call' Of The Wild

NewPioneering U.K. electro/rock outfit New Order broke an eight-year absence with the well-received 2001 set "Get Ready," but that didn't make the prospect of writing material for its follow-up any easier for vocalist/guitarist Bernard Sumner, bassist Peter Hook, drummer Stephen Morris and newly added guitarist Phil Cunningham.

In fact, according to Hook, "we sat down with absolutely nothing. The funny thing is, after all these years of doing it and knowing you have the ability, it shouldn't really frighten you, but it's quite daunting. You just sort of live in hope that each time you'll be able to do it." From those humble beginnings came "Waiting for the Sirens' Call," due this week in North America via Warner Bros.

Hook is the first to admit that the album simply updates New Order's classic sound with modern production sensibilities and a dash more guitar than would have been utilized in the '80s. But at a time when clearly New Order-influenced acts such as Franz Ferdinand and the Killers are going platinum, "Sirens' Call" is a potent reminder of how artistically valid New Order remains.

"After being so nervous about 'Get Ready' and how the comeback was going to be perceived, with this one, we got feedback and we were happy people were happy to see us back," Hook says. "We went into it feeling much more positive."

That attitude is reflected in the music here, highlights of which include jubilant first single "Krafty," the gorgeous chorus of the regret-tinged "Turn" and "Morning Night and Day," Sumner's amusing chronicle of a night of excess. Scissor Sisters member Ana Matronic guests on "Jetstream," which has already been earmarked as the second U.K. single.