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Christgau Consumer Guide

Joy Division

by Robert Christgau on July 18, 1980


JOY DIVISION

CLOSER

[Factory, 1981]


Another anticlimactically after-the-fact American release for these purveyors of melancholy and autohypnosis, and enough to make you understand why whole writing seminars haunt the import shops awaiting their next 12-inch. Ian Curtis’s torment is less oppressive here because it’s less dominant — the dark, roiling, off-center rhythms have a life of their own. And if last time the dancier material had hooks, this time even the dirges have something closely resembling tunes. 

A-


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