I felt old when I realized that Erasure was formed in 1985. While I wasn’t listening to their music at that time, I was alive and I was definitely listening around The Innocents and beyond. While the London duo have always found a way to make happier music flanked in vintage synthesized sounds, their new album The Neon brings it in a time when that’s exactly what we all need now.
the album opens with the eighties graced tones of “Hey Now (Think I Got A Feeling).” We say eighties because the sound you hear was essentially invented by these two. That sweet vocal melody mixing with analog synths to create a dance sensation, that sound delivers to this day and falls all over this album. Where “Nerves of Steel” takes what the band typically does and adds more weight, it has this slow uptick in sound that makes you just want to dance alone in quarantine. In fact this occurs throughout on tracks like “No Point in Tripping,” “Shot A Satellite” and on “Careful What I Try To Do.”
But as the synth laden beats from Vince Clarke are as on point here as Andy Bell’s vocals are, there’s still plenty of those almost sad words in songs here as well. With “Tower of Love” Bell sounds reminiscent as if the words are from his own life. On “New Horizons” his words stick with you as a light at the end of a dark dark pathway. And with “Kid You’re Not Alone” the sway between soundscaped tones and slow spaced vocals hits as hard as the bops. But of the ten tracks, the best for us came on “Diamond Lies.” The futuristic sound of the album mixed with the traditional electro-pop tones work well together and offer up a possible sound for the band to employ further down the road.
You can stream The Neon wherever you stream music or purchase it digitally wherever you download it. The album is also available in various physical formats and bundles directly from Mute Records.
Image Credits: Photo by Phil Sharp.