Although there has been no formal declaration of New Order's decision to break up, the band has evidently divided itself into three factions. Since 1989, singer/guitarist Bernard Sumner has had his Electronic project with ex-Smith Johnny Marr; husband/wife team Stephen Morris and Gillian Gilbert became The Other Two; and bassist Peter Hook formed Revenge. The differences between Revenge, which lasted from 1989 to '92, and Hook's new project, Monaco, are minor. In fact, the gap between Monaco and the sound of New Order isn't exactly huge itself, and Music For Pleasure reveals exactly what individual contributions Hook made to the band's instantly recognizable sound. But without the original New Order ingredients, Hook's nimble and unusually melodic bass work simply isn't enough to carry Music For Pleasure. As New Order's undisciplined alter ego, Monaco continues that band's unfortunate tendency toward self-cannibalization: "Under the Stars" steals, without apology, from at least three old songs. And when Hook tries to cook up something new, like "Buzz Gum," he emerges with what sounds like a reheated Oasis leftover. The best attribute of New Order was its hybridization of guitar-based rock and synthesizer/sequencer-based dance music into a perfect whole. Hook may have had much to do with that unique formula, but he doesn't replicate the chemistry on his own.

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