Thanks to new musical taste member noisyspoon, I read this article in Stylus magazine on New Order. The bulk of the album consists of an album-by-album overview of the band’s career, with each album rated out of 10.

While I’m just as obsessive about the band as the article’s author, I have different ideas about which albums were best. Power, Corruption and Lies and Low Life were rated highest with 10 out of 10, while Movement and Brotherhood were considered only ‘6.8’. I don’t think any of these albums are perfect, but would probably give Power, Corruption and Lies and Low Life each 7, and Movement and Brotherhood 8. This is because while I love songs like ‘Age of Consent’ and ‘Love Vigilantes‘, I hate ‘Ultraviolence’ and ‘Face Up’.

I pretty much agree with the other ratings (Republic gets 5.1), but I don’t feel moved to celebrate Substance in the same way as the author does (10 out of 10 again). Yes, there’s some great stuff on here, but If I recall correctly, a few of the versions on Substance, such as ‘Temptation’, are not the original 12″ versions, but are inferior 1987 re-recordings. The original 45 version of ‘Temptation’ is in my opinion by far the best. What I’m saying is that my own compilation of ‘the best of New Order’ would be very specific to me, and there are certain tracks that I never want to hear again in my life!

This is all very dull if you don’t like New Order. Sorry about that.

Jorge Ben: 'Sacundin Ben Samba' (CD; Universal; 1963)
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I suspect that Jorge Ben's style is an acquired taste. His vocals are quite raw, and he seems to be very comfortable with going out of tune if the mood requires it. That said, I find him one of the most incredible composers in Brazil, I love the textures and moods of his 60s (and some of his 70s) recordings, and I've come to love his voice.

Sacundin Ben Samba beings with the out-of-tune vocals of 'Anjo Azul', accompanied by just a guitar. The track builds gradually with horns and percussion to a beautiful and explosive chorus. 'Nena NanĂ£' sounds like a rough draft for Ben's famous 'Mais Que Nada', with many of the same musical phrases thrown in.

The album continues with eleven quite similar tracks; all have a very cool pop feel to them, spiced up with jazzy piano and percussion. Highlights for me 'Capoeira', with the superb blanket of sound provided by Ben's voice and the piano and percussion, and the catchy chorus of vocals on 'Carnaval Triste'.

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