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Former New Order singer-guitarist Bernard Sumner debuts his new outfit, Bad Lieutenant, with Never Cry Another Tear. In the ranks of BL are New Order conscripts Stephen Morris and Phil Cunningham, but anyone expecting a New Order record (minus Peter Hook) will be surprised. It's like post-punk never happened; Bad Lieutenant are here to rock -- synthesizers are shoved to the background and guitars turned up to 11!

“Summer Days” heats up an electric storm of dueling guitars, while “Dynamo” melts keyboards and power chords into a potent stew of Keith Moon-like rolls. The single and opening track “Sink or Swim” is the best pop song Sumner has had a hand in since the days of Electronic, while “This Is Home” and “Running Out of Luck” could be C.S.N. covers. They take a dive into the acoustic pool for “Head Into Tomorrow” but unfortunately sink.

Sumner has run the risk of alienating his fans before -- like with the official England world cup song –- and those he didn’t lose he merely confused. Never Cry Another Tear will have the same effect. It’s a solid effort, with subtle hints of New Order, but it lacks that iconic band’s inventive spirit.

Album title: Never Cry Another Tear (2009)
Artist: Bad Lieutenant
Label: Triple Echo
Songs: (1) Sink or Swim (2) Twist of Fate (3) Summer Days (4) This Is Home (5) Running Out of Luck (6) Dynamo (7) Poisonous Intent (8) These Changes (9) Walk on Silver Water (10) Shine Like the Sun (11) Runaway (12) Head Into Tomorrow (13) Falling Trees (14) Split the Atom (15) Higher Wider Deeper

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