Music Review: Editors' "In This Light And On This Evening"

1/26/2010 Posted by Admin

By our guest blogger, Gita Gupte

This week marked the U.S. release of the Editors' third album, "In This Light And On This Evening." Though the album was released in the U.K. as early as October 2009, it has only just come stateside and is chock full of synth-heavy gothic pop tunes. Yes, you’re not hallucinating--I did just use gothic and pop in the same sentence.

A departure from the Editors' more rock-heavy songs of yesterday, this album takes the band in a new direction, picking up the elements of '80s new wave.

The title track, "In This Light And On This Evening," provides synthesized beats that promise eventual implacable guitar hooks, but sadly, never quite delivers on this promise. Instead, the vocals are vapid and not a welcome juxtaposition to the musical accompaniment.

"Bricks And Mortar" seduces us with the synthesizer. This song would be a brilliant soundtrack piece to any '80s melodramatic teen flick, save for the fact that it was created in 2009.

"Papillon" makes you believe in the phrase, "Good things come to those who wait." The song's sub-par verse gives way to an unrelenting chorus filled with killer '80s synth beats. Its danceability makes you forgive the fact that the song often veers too far on the Goth side, giving us something more similar to The Rocky Horror Picture Show than Depeche Mode. You will hate this track, then love it, then hate it again. Bi-polar in nature, the song must be waited out for its good qualities. This track screams, "mix me" to any DJ.

"You Don't Know Love" is a very catchy tune that successfully achieves a favorable balance of baritone vocals and sopped-up synth. "The Big Exit" does a good job at layering a steady array of backing vocals to create a different feel from the other tracks.

"Eat Raw Meat = Blood Drool," aside from the vile title, borrows from both The Clash and R.E.M. to provide a surprising dance song that you want to get down to. Meanwhile, "Walk The Fleet Road" takes it down a notch to end the album on a sombre note.

This album starts off awkwardly and works its way into your heart. It slowly but surely transports you into a late '80s new wave fantasy. Although Tom Smith's powerful vocals are best paired with strong guitar-driven songs, this new synth approach to the Editors' sound is not a complete disaster. The band never quite achieves the same lusty, dark, pop qualities of Dave Gahan's Depeche Mode, but if Tom Smith can find a way of being less authoritative in his vocals, perhaps the pop elements of these songs can be taken at face value. Overall, this album lends a bit of authenticity to our current decade's homage to one of the best pop culture decades of modern time, the 1980s.

Grade: B

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