14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Love and Hate,
This review is from: The Weight Of Your Love (Audio CD)
'The Weight Of Your Love' is the fourth studio album by Editors.
Prior to the release of their 2005 Mercury Prize nominated debut Tom Smith (lead vocalist) et al. had spent three years cultivating an identity to do justice to their bold and captivating sound. Spearheaded by Smith's grandiose vocals the final inception of 'Editors' was to be an anthemic runaway success for Kitchenware Records; follow up records two and three were both chart topping albums in the UK guaranteeing sell-out concerts and headline festival slots.
You can sense the collective sigh of relief in the opening track. Following their electronic departure In This Light And On This Evening (which is in itself an excellent detour) it seems they've been diverted back to their roots; 'Weight' is a blistering opener reminiscent of their earliest work, yet richer and fuller in sound. The beats are noticeably classical in form allowing Tom's voice to cascade alongside the strings. The synergy of love and and death is a sinister approach that is well suited to Tom's ominous brooding voice. And so to the lyrics are earth-shatteringly epic: "Strike down on me" resonates at the end of the track as the instrumentation is pulled abruptly.
Cue the waspy bassline and lush lead guitar of 'Sugar', a sweet offering, again generous in atmosphere and sufficient in a certain cursed inevitability of love. 'A Ton of Love' is happily enough well groomed for the stadium. Staged as the single for the album it is excusably poppy and as such can be easily forgiven for its lack of edge.
"I've been your lover, for the last time", a falsetto voice proclaims. Sorry what!? Did I press the shuffle button there? Is this an editors record? And then the realisation of what is happening starts to dawn.
Over the next five tracks commences the experimental soul of this record and, dis-pleasingly so, we are talking more Chris Martin c.f. 'Honesty'/Gary Lightbody c.f. 'Nothing' than Paul Banks. I dont't want to pass too much cursory judgement on the tracks alone, as they are commendable efforts in themselves. 'Nothing' really is a truly beautiful track, but its clear that 'What is this thing called love' was not originally written for the band and one would need to pass their own conclusion on why it wasn't chosen for the X-Factor finalists, for whom it was initially written for.
The final few tracks do regain an intrigue that is more apt to the bands vibe ('Phone Book' and 'Bird of Prey' are superb) but I was left uncomfortably numb by the Emo-fuelled core. Repeated listens confirm. The album starts and ends triumphantly but with a soft and soppy underbelly that feels obvious and opaque. For some this may feel refreshing and honest, but to me it has a familiarity to it that is unoriginal and not distinguishably editors. There are four or five stunning tracks on this record but on the relative strength of their previous offerings, this will stand as my least favourite of their albums.
To retain an identity and following whilst remaining unique and creative is a delicate balancing act. Radiohead's seminal electronic Kid A (also their fourth) was a far cry from the rock beginnings and polarised a lot of their fans, yet the band is still recognised as one of the greatest of all time. This new offering from Editors will deeply divide opinion. Notably it is the first to feature two new members, Elliott Williams and Justin Lockey, following the departure of lead guitarist Chris Urbanowicz in April 2012; a decision tellingly based on "musical direction" differences that are strikingly manifested within this record. It is perhaps foreboding that, for the first time, it is pretty difficult to make out the name of the band on the album art.
Listen to: 'The Weight', 'Sugar', 'Nothing', 'Bird of Prey'
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Initial post: 3 Jul 2013, 11:39:50 BST
Adrian Haggar says:
An excellent review and spot on with my feelings entirely, Myself personally i prefer the raw edgy stuff of the first 2 albums, in this light was superb in a different way and this starts great then loses its way, i know bands evolve but losing Chris is massive to the Editors sounds and i can't blame him for not wanting to work on a 'love' album!!!!!! Think Tom's ego has got the better of him and this is what he wants, such a shame!!
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