Erasure Takes Us To The Dark Side of Christmas & Back

I’ve been a huge fan of Erasure since I first heard “Oh L’Amour” back in 1986 when I started going to clubs.

While I haven’t gotten to see them in concert (there’s talk of a possible tour in late 2014), I did get to meet Andy Bell & Vince Clarke and get their autograph when they visited the Fox News Chicago’s morning show where I was a news writer more than a decade ago.

April 2013 001

The band just released their first Christmas album, “Snow Globe” earlier this week.

Erasure Snow Globe

The album captures what Erasure fans have loved about them for almost thirty years — Andy Bell’s soulful voice, Vince Clarke’s captivating mastery of electronic music, and a perfect mix of bubbly dance tracks and thought-provoking lyrics like “I don’t believe in your religion, I only know what I can see”, which is from the first song on the new album, “Bells of Love (Isabelle’s of Love)”.

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Realistically, Christmas isn’t a holly, jolly time for all people and “Snow Globe” captures that part of Christmas perfectly.

You know this isn’t your standard, predictable Christmas album when you look at the track list and see “Bleak Midwinter” (about the birth of Baby Jesus) and “Blood on the Snow”.

“Gaudete”, an eerie track with a very Tim Burton-ish video, is the album’s first release and is everything you’d expect from Erasure with a haunting touch of winter’s chill.

I love Andy Bell’s familiar, warm vocals and Vince Clarke’s arrangements on their quirky take on “The Christmas Song”.

Other Christmas standards that are included on “Snow Globe” are “Silent Night”, “Midnight Clear” (stunning vocals), and “White Christmas” and “Silver Bells” (both stripped down to little more than Andy’s strong voice).

Erasure

If you only listen to Top 40 radio in America, you probably know very little about Erasure since they’ve only had three hits, “Chains of Love” and “A Little Respect” (#12 and #14, respectively, in 1988) and “Always (#20, 1994).

However, in American dance clubs, they’ve scored 21 hits with 16 of them reaching the Top Ten and two topping the charts.  Back home in the U.K., Erasure has had 32 hits with 15 of them reaching the Top Ten.

Erasure excels in dance music and “Snow Globe” is no exception.  “There’ll Be No Tomorrow” and “Loving Man” are incredible dance floor fillers and both will make Erasure fans long for another new studio album that is expected next fall.

What makes “Snow Globe” an incredible album is the mix of Christmas standards and holiday/winter-related songs and the familiar electronic sound that is Erasure.

Erasure Snow Globe

That mix will ensure that when Christmas decorations come down and the new Christmas albums by Kelly Clarkson and Mary J. Blige are put away on the shelf with Michael Buble and Josh Groban’s excellent holiday collections from the past, “Snow Globe” will still be getting played next spring.

GRADE:  A

Okay, I was dying to include “Oh L’amour”, so here’s a bonus!

Anthony

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2 responses to this post.

  1. […] « Erasure Takes Us To The Dark Side of Christmas & Back […]

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