it's hard to believe that erasure's been churning out the hits for nearly 22 years now. after a couple of lackluster and questionable releases (namely 'other people's songs), 'a light at the end of the world' really is a return to erasure's glory days. and since i'm not a big fan of saying 'it's their best since...,' i can say with certainty that it's certainly my *favorite* erasure album since 'i say, i say, i say' because it holds a lot of the same fairytale charm as the latter.
erasure was, is, and will always be about making your rearend shake. after the somewhat meloncholy 'nightbird,' 'a light at the end of the world' is dancefloor stomper after dancefloor stomper. it's in this arena they've always excelled ('victim of love,' 'sometimes,' chains of love,' etc, etc, etc). the opener, 'sunday girl' is a worthy opener: lots of energy, nice use of minor chord verse and major chord chorus. the first single, 'i could fall in love with you,' is in the same vein as 'don't say your love is killing me,' and 'run to the sun.' a great first single. hi-nrg, of sure. by the time you hear 'sucker for love,' (a disco-inspired romp)it's pretty clear erasure went for it all--and succeeded wonderfully. these are some of the best songs they've done in ages. 'storm in a teacup' is a nice ballad that also uses some nice minor/major chord combos. for me, the standout is 'fly away.' it sounds like it belongs on 'i say' and incorporates some of vince's best chord structures, a great bridge, and a great chorus. at the end of the album, you realize there's nary a bad track to be found. it's everything you want in an erasure album. and i mean everything: danceable, catchy, andy's insane vocal range, and lots of fun.
if there's any criticism (and i use the term lightly), andy bell ran out of lyrical ideas about 1994, but it hardly matters. the positive is that he delivers what he has with lots of pure emotion and sincerity, so it's really pretty easy overlook--after all, with music like this it's all about the execution, and they're firing on all cylinders. erasure never pretended to be a band concerned with artistic merits or breaking new ground, nor should they. they were my first concert back in 1988, and i'm happy to report that 22 years into their career they still have *it.*