26 April 2008

Erasure erased

I wonder what had happened to Erasure, the quintessential purveyors of synthpop of the eighties. In the late eighties, Erasure’s output was prodigious and the quality of their synthpop offerings superb with albums such as ‘The Circus’, ‘The Innocents’ and ‘Wild’ being the signature albums of a period of glorious pop music.

The advent of rubbish like grunge in the music scene of the early nineties did little to diminish their continued commitment to glittering pop gems such as those littering two fabulous albums, ‘Chorus’* and ‘I say I say I say’. Erasure moody self-titled album in 1995 proved to be their magnum opus and from there, Erasure was not to achieve those heights again. Following a hiatus of three years, Erasure released a mediocre album ‘Cowboy’, this was then followed three years later by the dreadful ‘Loveboat’. It took another three years for Erasure to release an album of horrid covers, ‘Other People’s Songs’ and another three for another self-indulgent horror show in a country and western mode, ‘Union Street’.

Erasure had reached a pinnacle in the early nineties and had stumbled, releasing lacklustre albums that missed the playful, melodic touch that Vince Clarke had infused into the earlier classics, instead, featuring self-indulgent ‘over singing’. What had happened to the splendid song writing of yesteryear? The soaring choruses? The euphoric anthems? The melodic love songs?

It was as if there was a complete erasure of the Erasure of old. Finally in 2007, came ‘Light at the End of the World’, whilst a decent effort with several mid-tempo gems, the album lacked the signature tunes that had characterised Erasure. This is hopefully, a signal of a return to form for Erasure.

I miss the Erasure of old.

* Interestingly enough, one of the singles, ‘Love to hate you’ was covered by the cantopop band Grasshoppers.

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