Tuesday, September 27, 2011

"Tomorrow's World" - Erasure's new album

ERASURE's Andy Bell

Following some of the early reviews and comments on the numerous pages that concern themselves with the new Erasure album, it becomes obvious that "Tomorrow's World" seems to divide the fans.

While some ask "Erasure, what's happened to you?" other hail the album as a "Masterpiece".

Be this as it may, the fact that the new album is very polished and a wee bit over produced in places ("A whole lotta love run riot" is a good example for that) is very logical to me.

Erasure has been together for 25 years and have released tons of material, which resulted in sales in excess of 25 million, 40 chart-hitting singles and an illustrious career YET more often than not one reads them labelled as an "80s band", which is very unfair.

In my mind, "Tomorrow's World" is trying to escape those labels and pre-conceptions.

I have been listening to the album at least 10x now and for me personally it still delivers the magic that is Erasure.

Songs like the opener "Be With You", "Then I go twisting" and the closing track "Just when I thought it was ending" fit in neatly with older material and are quintessential Erasure.

"When I start to (break it all down)" is also more than a decent single, which is easily explained since Erasure as a song writing force are well established and many bands would wish for the gift of songwriting the way Vince Clarke and Andy Bell are still able to pull it off.

Sure, the album has its weaknesses such as the too automated sounding voice of Bell in some tracks, especially since he is really a vocalist whose voice is outstanding and studio trickery really doesn't suit his voice nor is it necessary.

Ultimately, it is the sometimes dated-sounding soundscapes of the one and only Vince Clarke that are lacking on the album, which is presumably why it has been likened to Bell's solo work.

Does this make it a bad album? - Not at all in my opinion since, as mentioned, the songwriting is still strong and the melodies are hooky.

Yes, as a fan of Vince's since the early 1980s I am clearly biased, but if I just compare "Tomorrow's World" to what else is out these days and on the charts, it again is rather amazing how Erasure fit in and make a mark.

For the future I hope that Erasure come to realise that they don't need Frankmusic or other producers to lead the way and that they may return to good old Vince Clarke-based synths.

Judging on their 2011 'Total Pop/Tomorrow's World' tour, which brought them to numerous countries all across the globe, with sold out gigs being the norm, they needn't fear to become "has beens".

Yes, the new album is a departure from earlier works and perhaps pale in comparison to say "Nightbird" or "I say, I say, I say" but they have delivered a contemporary sounding album, worthy of the 21st century.

The album is ordered and will make a fine addition to my CD collection and I wouldn't be surprised if it would become yet another Erasure classic.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

The Human League "Credo" - Album Review

By the time "Credo" arrives at my door the album has already invaded the British charts at nr. 29, which makes CREDO a hit album by any standard - but is it worth having?

The answer is a resounding YES!

"Sheffield's finest" Philip Oakey, Susan Sulley and Joanna Catherall aka THE HUMAN LEAGUE have indeed delivered a great piece of work worthy of the 21st century, contempary synthpop that isn't even trying to sound like back in the day when albums sold like mad.

While many critics never really moved on from their early, groundbreaking work like DARE, the new album is more than just a great album of fans of 80's synthpop.

In fact, there is very little 80's style music on CREDO. The two singles "Never Let Me Go" and "Night People" are the most commercial sounding tracks of the 11 tracks album and were cleverly placed as the opening numbers on the album.

The League surprises with unique sounding songs like "Sky" or "Privilege", while tracks like "Electric Shock" or "Breaking the chains" are disitinctively 21st century fun-pop.

Through it all Philip's trademark vocals are as strong as ever and the girls sound fab, too.

What I like about CREDO in particular is the fact that it sounds fresh without deliberately trying to block out the band's impressive past.

It is perhaps overall less commercial as some would have hoped but that was always the case with The Human League and I suspect that this is indeed the secret to their success.

All in all, the album deserves a top ten slot or even higher and the Sheffield threesome can teach new bands a thing or two with regards to building up songs and delivering great memories.

CREDO - a must have!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

NEW HUMAN LEAGUE album "Credo" out now!

Have ordered it via hmv, eagerly awaiting its arrival. Review here on electropop soon!

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Erasure continues ...

... as announced today on the official Erasure website: Vince Clarke and Andy Bell are working on a new album!!!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Depeche Mode tour in jeopardy

Depeche's "Tour of the Universe" is in jeopardy as the band was forced to cancel quite a number of gigs. Frontman Dave Gahan is suffering from a malignant tumor, which has been operated on in New York recently. Watch this space

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Florian Schneider quits Kraftwerk

After 40 years as a robot, Florian Schneider left Kraftwerk. The band is currently on tour and will continue without him. Ralf Hutter is now the only remaining original member of the godfathers of electronic music.