Gathan Beaga

novelty vs. nostalgia

Last Friday I bought the new New Order album. I don’t know why. I could have predicted what it sounded like; Bernard’s anæmic vocals, Hooky’s grumbly bass, The Other Two’s signature wash of synths. It sounded almost identical to their last album, only less interesting.

But yet a funny thing happens whenever I listen to it. It happened again this morning as I put the headphones on to get through an intensive task.

This strange smile stuck itself to my face and wouldn’t come off for so long as the music lasted. Despite the music being completely unchallenging and totally as expected, I can’t help really liking it. And somehow it makes me feel fucking great.

My rational brain tells me I’m wasting my money on the aural equivalent of a pair of old comfy slippers. My reptile brain tells my rational brain keep your voice down, I’m trying to listen to this.

Maybe it’s a kind of physical nostalgia for all the truly great music of times past; cues picked up at the limbic level. New Order and I go way back – over twenty years. But the irony is, twenty years ago I would have had nothing but scorn for the old farts still listening to their damned sixties music, their irrelevant sixties artists. Our older brothers, sisters and cousins did not fight the punk wars for that.

So in the battle of nostalgia versus novelty, nostalgia wins this round. Again. And score one for boring old fartdom.

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