Erasure: Yesterday, Today and 'Tomorrow's World'
Andy Bell and Vince Clark are marking a milestone with their new release, Tomorrow’s World. Not only is it Erasure’s 14th release, it’s also coming up on 25 years since their first successful album, The Circus, made its official chart debut. Their latest single, “When I Start (To Break It All Down),” is also the duo’s latest addition to the string of hits they’ve released since their first commercial breakthrough single “Chains Of Love” stormed the Top 40 charts all those years ago.“World” is a nine-song collection that is already causing excitement among the duo’s longtime fanbase, and after listening to it, I’m more than certain it will introduce them to an entire new generation as well. So many musicians have come and gone since Erasure’s first album charted. I attribute their success to being consistent to their pop/rock/electro/synth sound, while evolving with the passage of time and always being current.
With that said, Bell and Clark delivered their new set of songs to Brit producer Frankmusic, a mere 26 years old and wunderkind to the electro/pop music scene of today. By his early 20’s, he’s already had remix success with Pet Shop Boys and Lady Gaga. This time, he’s taken Erasure’s signature sound while incorporating a sense of style, and the use of autotune that provides a fresh approach to these exquisite new compositions. That’s what to expect with the sound, but it’s also important to note that Erasure’s style of writing continues to break ground with the dramatic, clever lyrics that they’ve mastered to a science.
The pangs of heartbreak were never better than on the aforementioned first single “When I Start To (Break It All Down)” and Frankmusic’s stylized vocal arrangement on “Just When I Thought It Was Ending.” They’re two of the highlights for those who are pushovers (as I am) for introspective break-up songs and what’ll-I-do-next-now theatrics. The dance-trance-induced “A Whole Lotta Love Run Riot” is positively hypnotic, and there are also two standouts – the dancefloor-bound “Fill Us With Fire” and the head-shaking, torso-eruptive “When I Go Twisting ” – that are in the waiting stages of being included in the long and very distinguished list of gay anthems.
A new album from Erasure has always been an event in the music world, most especially to the gay community, in part because of vocalist Andy Bell’s nonchalant attitude of being an out musician since Erasure’s inception. It’s difficult enough to be accepted in the entertainment business period, but to be out in the mid-80s and accepted not only by the gay community, but also by a large general audience and musical peers was (and still is) a heroic achievement.
Tomorrow’s World is very much today’s sound – producer Frankmusic saw to that. It’s also on track to be one of the best discs to be transported into the hearts and minds of Erasure enthusiasts as well as anyone who desires top-notch pop/rock/electro/synth music. Personally, I was thoroughly taken at first listen, and even more so now that I have these songs on Repeat, as my iPod continues to play Erasure’s most satisfying record since they first hooked me 13 albums ago.
© 2011 Steven M. Housman. All Rights Reserved.