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Erasure
Nightbird
Mute Records
www.erasureinfo.com


Whether or not you are a fan of Erasure's long and storied career, the new record Nightbird is indisputably one of the finest pure pop masterpieces in what seems like decades. The last few outings from the band have been letdowns for those who patiently waited for a real taste of fresh new music from the magical mind of Vince Clarke. Finally! No cover songs, no collections of uninspired remixes, no dreary and odd moodiness; Nightbird is pure classic beautiful Erasure heaven.

Gone are the slightly askew attitudes of the eponymous record, the odd Abba affectations, the seeming lack of emotional involvement in his music… Instead we are given eleven songs of that pure joy that can only come from the FM synthesis of Clarke. The songs float lithely through the ether, tripping through fields of sonic loveliness. Andy Bell's voice is clearer and more mature than ever before. No longer sounding like the recurrent shadow of Alison Moyet, Bell has developed his vocal instrument to depths of tone and emotion that were only hinted at previously. Just when the thought had crossed so many minds that there was to be no more musical growth from the Erasure camp, we have suddenly been graced with possibly the finest album that the artful duo has ever recorded.

Nightbird is a very mature and well-balanced selection of songs, ranging from the light and airy "Breathe", with it's intricate background vocals and washes of analog sounds, to the dancey and upbeat "I'll Be There" - complete with early 90's techno sounds. The poetry of "Here I Go Impossible Again" sets apart the lyrical content on Nightbird from so much of the past few years of Erasure's works. "Because Our Love Is Real" is a perfect love song, with bouncing keyboards layered with thick vocals and precisely light drumbeats. Emotion is what truly sets this album apart. Real, inspired, emotion.

Whether or not we are poised for an 80's revival in pop music doesn't seem to matter to Vince And Andy. What does seem to matter is that they finally have something new and fresh to say. And we are eagerly listening.

-Embo Blake

Track Listing:

1. No Doubt
2. Here I Go Impossible Again
3. Let's Take One More Rocket
4. Breathe
5. I'll Be There
6. Because Our Love Is Real
7. Don't Say You Love Me
8. All This Time Still Falling Out Of Love
9. I Broke It All In Two
10. Sweet Surrender
11. I Bet You're Mad At Me


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