Light At The End of The World
I was never a fan of flamboyant ’80s dance music. Pet Shop Boys, Frankie Goes To Hollywood and the like were a bit too sweaty-boys-in-a-dance-club for my taste. Little did I know that years later I’d have a girlfriend who absolutely praised the gloriously fun sounds of Erasure.
“Your favorite bands are Danzig, Iron Maiden, and Erasure?! Erasure?! How did that happen?!” I asked her the day we met.
“I love the ’80s,” was her simple reply.
And so, that is how I ended up at an Erasure concert — and so, that’s how I came to appreciate the synth-pop wonderland created by Andy Bell and Vince Clarke.
Their latest release, Light At The End of The World, offers the same radio-friendly pop music that has made legions of fans fall in love with them, only it’s a little less obvious. There are no standout singles, no “Chains of Love” or “A Little Respect,” yet every song is catchy enough to work its way into your brain after just a listen or two.
Their previous release, Nightbird, was an introspective dive into the aftermath of Andy Bell’s public announcement of his battle with HIV. Though not a melancholic body of work — which it easily could have been — it’s songs were still darker in tone than past works. After such an admission even the happiest synthesizer is bound to have a deeper coat of meaning beneath it, and this new album is no exception.
Songs for your iPod: “I Could Fall In Love,” “Sucker For Love.”