The Editors' new album In This Light And On This Evening is quite a jarring departure from their last album An End Has a Start. Their guitar-driven sound is largely gone as it's been replaced with synthesizers providing an electronic soundscape that transports you back to the 80's. Fortunately, I'm a fan of electronic music and some industrial rock. So, I was ready to give the album a good listen.
Apparently, some life changes within the group marked the time for a fresh start and a whole new sound. The Editors have definitely achieved that goal. I'm sure many fans will be caught off guard as I was at first listen. They'll have no problem standing out from many of their Brit rock peers. Even the Editors brand of synth-rock is pretty different. Today, much of the synth-heavy rock seems to be happy, poppy dance music. In This Light And On This Evening is dark, haunting, and at times a bit disturbing lyrically.
Luckily, the new sound works well. It may take a few listens, but once you get used to the sound you can hear that the album is well-done and very memorable. I remember the 80's, but I was pretty young. I would say that with my limited knowledge In This Light And On This Evening evokes memories of Depeche Mode. The album has also been compared to New Order and Joy Division.
Frontman Tom Smith's voice is unmistakable. Sometimes it sounds a bit unmusical, with his baritone almost talk-like singing. Also, the Editors lyrics can be odd, but the imagery works and if nothing else is creative.
The strange "Eat Raw Meat = Blood Drool" has an infectious, funky beat and some of the weirdest lyrics I've heard in a while. However, the imagery that the lyrics evoke is effective and memorable. It's the most danceable track, but still fits in well with the rest of the album. Songs like the haunting "Like Treasure" and "The Big Exit" are great at creating a mood and atmosphere with some pretty interesting and deep lyrics. Upbeat U.K. singles "Papillon" and "Bricks and Mortar" are other stand out tracks.
In This Light And On This Evening is a good album overall. It creates a mood and atmosphere transporting you to a dark, New Wave world. It's a cool trip, just as long as you're prepared to take it.