BAD LIEUTENANT Never Cry Another Tear (Triple Echo)
Bad Lieutenant is Bernard Sumner’s first post-New Order project, and “Never Cry Another Tear” is their debut album, released in 2009. It sounds very similar to late-period New Order and Electronic, with a side-order of Doves-style raincoated Mancunian bluster, a pudding pile of synth-pop, guitar rock and musical and lyrical clichés. The jetsetting nostalgiafest of “Summer Days” rises slightly above the median, and alert ears might prick up at the way “Dynamo” rifles light-fingeredly through Pete Townshend’s sequencer patterns circa “Who’s Next”, or the acoustic guitar intro to “Head Into Tomorrow” that could be mistaken for the work of Roy Harper or Jimmy Page in one of his folksier moods. Mostly, though, those ears will be clubbed into submission by nearly an hour of plodding beats and uninspired melodies. Perhaps it’s unfair to judge Sumner by the standards of his previous work, what with being at least partially responsible, as a member of Joy Division and New Order, for some of the best and most moving pop music ever made, but here he sounds like he’s sleepwalking.