For a band that said their new album would have more in common with the electronic beginnings of New Order, ‘Restless’ has more in common with indie-flecked pop. The driving force of the track is an acoustic guitar and a funky bassline which makes Peter Hook’s departure from the band slightly less huge than it was made out to be. The orchestral tinges in the background add a bit of drama which can verge into slightly cringey territories, but for the most part they stay behind the other instruments. The instrumentation on ‘Restless’ is really good, the drums are on point and the acoustic guitar remains the key instrument above the orchestral flares, which is hard to master amongst the wide variety of instruments New Order deploy.
The main problem with the track is the vocals and the lyrics. Whilst he’s never been the greatest vocalist of all time, Bernard Sumner has had some good moments in the past. However, in ‘Restless’ he verges on boredom and when he sings ‘how does it feel’, it steps into a whiney tone. The chorus, however, is very catchy ‘Restless / I am so restless’.The song seems to be criticising the ever-moving nature of modern life, from the ‘I want a nice car / A girlfriend who’s as pretty as a star’, which is one of the more bland lyrics the track has to offer. Despite a few wrong turns, ‘Restless’ mostly comes out the other end unscathed. It’s also a reminder that New Order can expand beyond new wave electronica.