New Order's past few albums have been guitar-driven rock. But Music Complete is more of a dance record, like 1989's Technique. As Bernard Sumner, New Order's famously private lead singer, recently told Out in an interview:
"By the late '90s I was going to clubs and partying like crazy. I'd eaten too much dance music. And dance music also became very compartmentalized in the '90s. I didn't like that because it meant rules, which meant fools taking away my ability to do what I wanted to do. There was also pressure because we'd made 'Blue Monday, which was massive, and I felt every record after that had to reinvent the wheel, which is impossible. I just needed a break from it all. But now the time felt right to return to synthesizers and beats and electronic music."
The video for the single "Restless" certainly captures that feeling. Along with the album, Sumner has released Chapter and Verse, a memoir detailing his childhood, Curtis's tragic death, Sumner's lasting romance with the synthesizer, and the charged decadence of the 1970s and '80s Manchester music scene.