There was a lot of fuzz about the new Editors album, some critics teared down the album whilst others were literally in dreams with Tom’s voice and with the presented tracks. It’s for sure not an album loved by all, some fans might leave whilst others join the fan club … One can’t please them all.
No Harm is a slow grower with a mysterious start and very sensitive vocals. Step by step the song gets louder and more worked out. I feel a bit a Twin Peaks vibe (listen to the bass and synths at some point). This is a song for lonely and very dark nights or listening to it with headphones on. I can imagine this one will steal some hearts during the live performances. Ocean of Night has some gospel influences and sounds pretty warm. It takes more than 2 minutes before the real outburst comes and the first flow of energy merges. The piano is nice as a starter, just as the bass adds this little extra touch. I sense a lot of positive feelings and a Brazilian wave. Forgiveness sounds the most like Editors sounded in the past: a touch of Joy Division mixed with that typical Tom Smith pathos. Once again the bass sounds very attractive (and into retro).
The more you listen to it, the more you love it! More pathos comes with Salvation, but the tempo is a bit on the slow side. You can say that this song is driven by emotions, a bit dark and a bit like Frank Sinitra. The emotional outbursts keep you on the rails, whilst the violins keep it sharp. Life is Fear is a strange song that needs a lot of time to grow and get sticky. The electro and kitschy sound mixed with the high tones in the vocals creates a bit of a Bronski Beat momentum. It was a weird decision to launch this one as a single and not all the fans were pleased by it, but now that I’m halfway the CD I start to understand the choice. The tempo is higher than the previous tracks, the pathos is higher and it contains more energy than all the previous tracks counted together. It’s true that it takes some time before you start to like it, but so far that’s what happens with most of the songs on this album. The chorus is pretty catchy and I like the vocal dance (going high and low on the vocal chords).
The Law could be – according to me – the next single. I adore the vocal game play between Tom and the mysterious female and very sexy vocals (Rachel Goswell from Slowdive). It’s a pretty slow track, with a bluesy and dreamy sound. I can hear some 80’s influences from The Cure (guitar play and synths). Our Love has another Bronski Beat moment (listen to Tom’s voice and the electronics), once again with that retro feel. The disco sound is pretty much ok. It’s once again a slow grower. The beats are nice, just as the tiny techno influences and the pathos towards the end (with the acoustic guitar and piano part). You might even get some goosebumps if you let yourself go in the last minute of the track. All The Kings has a slight symphonic sound but is for the rest a typical Editors track. The melancholic feel will enchant you. The break within the song announces a new round filled with pathos. I sense some Coldplay in it, am I the only one? At All Cost is my personal highlight of the album. It’s a dark and minimalistic ballad with strong feelings giving you goosebumps. One might even shed a tear, so imagine how this one will sound during the tour … The fireworks will come with the end track (at least if they decide to play it as last track of every gig) Marching Orders. The electronics are nice, just as the catchy chorus. I just haven’t figured out what this song is about, so far.
With all the negative flood around this new CD I did my best to stay impartial and honest. It’s true that this one needs more time than the previous albums, so give it some time. It’s true that there is no big bang track or real big hit that rocks your socks off. No Fingers in The Factories, Smokers Outside the Hospital Doors, no Papillion, All Sparks, When Anger Shows, Bones, An End has A Start, A Ton of Love ,… We hear a softer side (with pearls like The Law and At All Cost), a bit like the project with Burrows but without the Christmas feelings. My conclusion is stated in this visual concept: the roof is no longer on fire but Tom Smith carries a torch and some gasoline … both have not been used this time … So sit close to the campfire and cherish the soft campfire songs.