Erasure: World Be Gone

Erasure have had enough and they want you to know it - but do you want to find out?

- After the crap year that was 2016, for those who are drawn to progressive causes and appreciate the creative art of music making, then the seventeenth Erasure album title sums it up. World Be Gone! (With a suitable Shakespearean flourish and then slamming a heavy door behind you.) Vince Clark and Andy Bell have trod the introspective path (such as, one of their first singles, Oh L’amour and the seasonal 2013 Snow Globe) however, not to this depth before.

Critics are calling this a “not typical” Erasure album, it lacks the regularly upbeat pop tunes with lyrics that are more on the sunny side. Clark and Bell have been driven to use the depressing nature of the times to write songs that are reflective and a commentary on these deeply uncertain days. With titles like, Be Careful What You Wish For!, A Bitter PartingOh What A World, Lousy Sum of Nothing, you are forewarned this is not a happy, happy, joy, joy release.

Situated mid-point of the album is Still It’s Not Over, a simple tune with layered gospel-choir like vocals and Bell using more raw emotion in his voice than has been heard previously, and for good reason. This song looks back over thirty years of activism by the diverse in gender and sexuality community and the indifference that the mainstream world has shown. It will touch many and probably leave others nonplussed, but that’s been the experience of the DiGS community and here it is in song form.

That said, there is a twinge of annoyance that twee sounding pop tunes get married with political commentary -and when you look back to ANOHNI’s releases over the past year you can see how this can work well- some of the songs here are not as effective as they could be. Oh What A World swings between a syncopated marching song and a wail against the lack of freedom, “…what became of wanting to be free?” Lousy Sum Of Nothing has a bit of finger wagging, “…and what do we do about it, we switch the channel” and the chorus, again with a gospel-choir like layering, “…the world has lost its loving, you’re not going to criticize the injustices in the world…” It’s not to say that Clark and Bell have failed to parade their social conscience in an acceptable way, it’s just some are not going to take well to synth-pop lecturing the world and telling it to stop being so unfair. However, if every other genre of music has done it, why not this as well?

Bracketing these songs about the shite state of the world are two very Erasure pop songs, the first single Love You To The Sky, and Just A Little Love. It might be a bit saccharine but the lyrics of the last track do give you hope that there is something available to make the nasty world, born out of the cesspit that was 2016, be gone and not return.

- Blair Martin.

 

Album Details

Album Title: World Be Gone
Artist: Erasure
Record Label: (Mute / [PIAS] / Inertia)