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Light at the End of the World (Mute Records)

Wednesday, Jun 27 2007
Synth-pop pioneers Vince Clarke and Andy Bell don't go for a spot of revisionism throughout Light at the End of the World, the newest proper studio album from the flamboyant duo Erasure. Twenty-some odd years have neither tarnished nor diminished Clarke's unabashed love of distended electro trills and thrills, without concern for bleeding-edge frills. Erasure exists outside the current of competition, happy to watch younger groups fret about keeping up with the Joneses.

Every few years, Bell — despite his double hip-replacement surgery, past battles with substance abuse, and coping with being HIV-positive — clicks his heels together three times and, indeed, there is no place like home. Erasure returns to the buoyant blue-eyed soul and exaggerated affectations that have been the group's tropes since 1986, love it or leave it. Lyrically, Erasure has become increasingly disclosing, as exhibited by Bell addressing his mother's alcoholism on "Storm in a Teacup." Dysfunction and devotion continue as the diametric balance kept by Erasure songs, which always bubble with unrequited yearning. Songs such as "Sunday Girl," "I Could Fall in Love With You," and "Sucker for Love" just deliver the angst at a brisker pace than the nocturnal patinas of 2005's Nightbird. Light at the End of the World is another Technicolor-sequined feather in what is to Erasure old hat.

About The Author

Tony Ware


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