ALBUM PARLOPHONE RELEASE: APRIL 26, 1999 REVIEW: MAY 22, 1999
Electronic could be a perfect pop band. Bernard Sumner is an excellent singer and as we all know Johnny Marr can be a divine guitar player. And there has been moments in the past when they have been close to be just that, in particular on their eponymous 1991 debut album, which had several superb pop tunes.
I wonder what has happened. You should always be suspicious when the average song length of a POP album exceeds five minutes, and in this case the suspicions are justified - "Twisted Tenderness" is an extremely tedious albums. The wonderful pop tunes are gone, and all they are replaced by is stale programmed beats, useless scratch, retarded synthesizers, and annoyingly boring guitar riffs. Listening to "Twisted Tenderness, it is even easy to forget that it actually is Bernard Sumner singing these uncharismatic tunes, and Johnny Marr playing those edgy guitars. It is light years away from brilliant New Order songs like "True Faith", "Subculture", or the stunningly beautiful "Your Silent Face". Not to mention how hard it is to imagine that this is actually the same Johnny Marr who played the guitar on all the Smiths' classics.
The only really decent moment is "Late at Night", which is a nice little tune and one of the shorter songs. Apart from this, "Twisted Tenderness" is just the sound of two middle aged men with too much money and too few good ideas spending way too much time in the studio.