Review - Erasure - Tomorrow's World
Last week, British synthpop duo Erasure released their fourteenth studio album (very impressed – most bands make it through two or three albums, forget fourteen!), Tomorrow’s World. TW was produced by up-and-coming (well, depending on what circles you run in) producer and singer-songwriter Frankmusik, also a successful Brit himself. From the first song, you can very clearly hear Frankmusik’s work on the album, but he, thankfully, does not take the entire LP over. FM has been a rising star of the electronic music world for a little while now, and so when it was announced he would be making the music for this album, more than a few people were excited.
Well, now that we have all had some time to listen and think about the album, what’s the verdict? In my opinion (not that you care about it, oh, wait, yes, I think you do, as you are reading my blog right now):
While Erasure really did some great things to advance the genre many years ago (and were vitally important in making the scene what it is today), Frankmusik was the one who just a few years ago was doing the same thing (to a lesser extent, but still). FM’s music was fresh and had a good, dancey, up-beat vibe that people really dug, giving him two top 40 hits in the UK. Tomorrow’s World features a lot of the same feel as his debut, without a whole lot of originality. What I mean by this is that this is EXACTLY what I expected from anything Frankmusik was to produce. While it is good to have a certain sound, it is also good to stretch that style and move it to and fro. Frankmusik is very happy to sit right in the spot that did him a whole lot of good a few years ago.
Now, while this isn’t groundbreaking for Frank, it is something lovely for Erasure. The choice to go with someone so young and currently hip is a bold (though very understandable) choice from the duo’s standpoint. Working with him is a double-edged sword: yes the music will be very current and lovely and all that, but many of the band’s fans aren’t necessarily looking for something they can hear in a club these days – many are looking to hear more of the Erasure of the olden days.
While musically this album is a lot more showing of current musical trends, Andy Bell & Vince Clark find a way to really make it their own. The songwriting and vocal work is definitely them, and even the music, though definitely not theirs seems to bow down to them, submitting itself to the more powerful forces on each track. Long-time fans might be a bit surprised with this record, but I don’t think they’ll be completely lost. In the end, Tomorrow’s World is certainly not the best thing I’ve heard this year, but from a band that’s been going on this long, it’s a job well done.
Listen to: “Be With You”