Erasure probably suffers, in some way, from the non-linear rule of musical inspiration; their latest album, Tomorrow’s World, sounds like a lot of other releases in dance and electronic music in recent years, and yet plenty of those names cribbed from groups like them. The English duo’s 14th studio album is an archetypal example of upbeat, affirming, fist-pumping synthpop, and an example of the highest order – but it doesn’t sound very original at all. Not any more.
While the kick-on-every-beat thump of “Fill Us with Fire” is excellent and songs like “A Whole Lotta Love Run Riot” and “I Lose Myself” are dance staples, it’s too often done. They might have introduced some of these sounds – the pulsing synths on “Then I Go Twisting” and “What Will I Say When You’re Gone?” are some of the album’s highlights – but they’re now overly used, and Erasure, too, hasn’t gone far beyond them.
Andy Bell, on “Then I Go Twisting”, makes note of this strange nature of musical progression himself. He laments: “Then I go inside, bored of this modern town/Sick of this techno, monophonic sound/Turning the lights down, modern life’s so dull/More of the same stuff.” Tragically, he adds: “I don’t wanna let you down.”
Tomorrow’s World doesn’t let us down; if you want an example of the first wave of synthpop and excellently crafted, catchy dance music, there aren’t many better than Erasure, and this is another album that affirms their reputation. There’s a glistening sheen here, and the mixture of fast and slow (“When I Start To (Break It All Down)” is ballad-like with an eminently hummable chorus) keeps things refreshing. But the album’s title is perhaps a step ahead of what the album actually contains. Still, you could put any track from Tomorrow’s World on at a party, and people would get up and dance to it. Perhaps that’s all the world needs – tomorrow’s, anyway.
Essential Tracks: “When I Start To (Break it All Down)”, ” “Fill Us with Fire”