Never Cry Another Tear (Universal Motown)
The results? This excellent debut album showcases Sumner doing what he attempted to do on the final two New Order albums—break out into straightforward guitar rock (three guitars here) with shimmering melodies and ethereal backing vocals. While some songs have an eerily familiar New Order sound (the catchy first two tracks “Sink or Swim, “Twist of Fate”), the sound shifts and catches the listener pleasantly by surprise as Evans jumps in on “Summer Days” and “This Is Home”—a welcome musical departure that pairs his full-bodied vocals with Sumner’s deadpan tenor. The remaining tracks deserve repeated listens on an album that is one of the best of 2010.