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    Mon, 14 Feb 2005 16:26:38

    Album Reviews: Nightbird by Erasure

    Erasure will always be remembered as a club track hit machine, firmly planted in the ‘80s and made for dancing and feeling great about it. As one might expect, after nearly 20 years and almost a decade since their last album of original material, Erasure has slowed down a bit, aiming for melodies that are a little more heartwarming than infectious. Andy Bell’s voice still soars, making everything he sings sound like an anthem, but the overall tone of Nightbird is a little less flamboyant than you might remember.

    “Breathe,” the album’s first single, is only the tip of this album’s mid-tempo, slightly-AOR sophistication. There is much here that will remind even casual fans of Erasure why they were drawn to Bell’s voice and Vince Clarke’s synthetic, dreamy, pop romance, and much of Nightbird ranks among Erasure’s most accessible, rewarding balladry. A quick glance at song titles will reveal that the subject matter of Nightbird is largely romantic, but that’s Erasure.

    Some of the dance floor spunk of old is still evident in tracks like “All This Time Still Falling Out of Love” and “I’ll Be There,” the latter reminding listeners more than any other track on the album that Vince Clarke was one of the original architects of Depeche Mode. An ubiquitous house beat and synths, as ever, guide the proceedings, and Nightbird is a comfortable return to form after a long time off. While no great chances are taken and no real new ground is broken, this album sounds and feels exactly how you want an Erasure album to feel. - Cory O'Malley

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