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Erasure: Light at the End of the World

Erasure: Light at the End of the World

Release Date:2007

By Mikael Wood | Posted 6/27/2007

This long-running English synth-pop duo took an unexpected detour into acoustic roots music on last year's Union Street, recasting 11 tunes from its expansive songbook as melancholy Nashville shuffles. Pleased with the results of its "real"-instrument makeunder, Erasure even took the country and western act on the road, playing its first-ever shows with a live band. (If you failed to catch one, check out On the Road to Nashville, an excellent CD/DVD document of the band's gig at Music City's historic Ryman Auditorium.)

At this point in its double-decade career, you'd have to be aboard a ship of fools to doubt Erasure's melodic know-how. That said, Light at the End of the World--the duo's new album, on which singer Andy Bell and multi-instrumentalist Vince Clarke return to their computer-music comfort zone--does find the duo in particularly fine songwriting form, as if the Union Street unplugging refreshed their commitment to hooks and lyrics and other things that aren't sparkly synth arpeggios, though Light features plenty of those as well.

A handful of the tunes sound like perfect candidates for a future Union Street sequel. In "Storm in a Teacup," over tear-in-your-beer keyboards, Bell laments losing his mummy to the drink; before she went away, "She saw Jesus in the eyes of a broken man." And "I Could Fall in Love With You," the album's best cut, sounds exactly like one of those pumping dance-pop remixes LeAnn Rimes used to commission on a weekly basis. Remember how great those were?

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