|2. Day of the Lords|
|5. New Dawn Fades|
|6. She's Lost Control|
|10. I Remember Nothing|
Let's get down to what matters though, the tunes. The opener Disorder is an excellent opener, and ends with Curtis screaming "I've got the spirit, but I'm losing feeling" and it really gets the blood pumping. There is not a sucker in the bunch though, and every song is excellent, of course some moreso than others. Insight is particularly noteworthy, as is She's Lost Control which may or may not be about Curtis's epilepsy. If you're looking for lots of synths in this album ala New Order, you may be a bit disappointed as the music is alot rougher. The lyrics are excellent but I'm not going to comment on them much. Whether Unknown Pleasures or Closer is better I'm not sure, because their both almost flawless.
All of the tracks are brilliant, and most of them have been praised here, so I won't go through a long track-by-track summary. However, the three "crown jewels" of the album--Insight, New Dawn Fades, and She's Lost Control are definitely worth mentioning. In my opinion, they are the three most brilliant consecutive tracks in any pop album.
"Insight," with its supremely minimalist guitar-and-bass line, weird computer beeps, and hollow vocals, is the epitome of computerized horror. If nuclear holocaust had a musical equivalent, this would be it--dispassionate, depressed vocals which build to a crescendo of synthesized fury. I realize that the previous sentence sounds incredibly pretentious, but it's really a testament to this band that such abstract accolades are actually apt.
"New Dawn Fades," by contrast, is almost an operatic aria. Ian Curtis was sometimes described as being cold and unfeeling, but you would never know it from hearing this song, in which he seems to have a complete emotional breakdown by the last stanza. He's one of those rare singers who seems to become more beautiful as he becomes uglier.
"She's Lost Control" is thought by some to have been better in its single, and while I agree that that version was more, well, "danceable," the album version has much more emotional weight. Part of my reason for preferring this incarnation is its bizarre combination of styles--it has a Kraftwerk-style beat which is overlaid with grunge rock guitars. It's such a perfect combination of mechanical order and chaos.
If you want to see where much of modern rock came from--Jesus & Mary Chain, Depeche Mode, New Order, Nirvana, Nine Inch Nails, Radiohead, Interpol and almost any other off-center band--this is the album that started it all.
Take it along for those moon lit drives.