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Are Kanye West's New Songs an Homage to New Order?

The art for "When I See It" and "Say You Will" bears a striking resemblance to new wave legends' 1983 masterpiece, 'Power, Corruption & Lies.'
October 19, 2015, 9:10pm

Along with pretty much the rest of the world, we were pretty excited this afternoon when Travi$ Scott shared a link on his Instagram leading us to two new songs on Kanye West's SoundCloud. But before we even hit play, we couldn't help noticing a stark similarity between their cover art—the above image by fashion photographer Nick Knight, who also directed the videos for Yeezus singles "Black Skinhead" and "Bound 2"—and a famous 80s album cover (below.)

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On the net art/emo axis of Tumblr aesthetics, there is perhaps no more powerful an image than Peter Saville's cover for New Order's 1983 record Power, Corruption & Lies. Based off a reproduction of A Basket of Roses (1890) by Henri Fantin-Latour, it added a layer of classic romanticism to the band's plaintive, then very-modern post-punk sound.

There's an interesting connection to be made, for sure, between the fact that one of the new songs is a remix of "Say You Will," off 808s & Heartbreak, an album very much influenced by 80s new wave and synth sounds, of which New Order were important pioneers. That track was also performed at Kanye's recent performance of that album at the Hollywood Bowl.

NOTE: A previous version was updated to include the name of photographer who produced the image that appears in the single art, Nick Knight.

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