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UK buzz band's third
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Editors - In This Light & On This Evening
(Fader Label)
2 stars (out of 5 stars)
Reviewed: Feb. 12, 2010

Review by Tony Bonyata

When the UK rock band Editors emerged in the mid-Noughties with their impressive, albeit not totally original, debut album The Back Room, their music seem to fit the times. Not that it defined where music was actually heading at the time, but rather where it had come from, and that was late '70s/early '80s post-punk and new wave that a rash of young bands such as Interpol, The Futureheads, Stellastar, White Lies and others have adopted as their own over the last decade.

Now five years later the Birmingham quartet have released their third album entitled In This Light and On This Evening. While they're still not fully stepping outside of their comfort zone, they've managed to mix things up a bit and, in doing so, the results are likewise mixed. On these nine tracks they've toned down the guitars that fuelled their previous releases, and instead have incorporated the heavy use of synthesizers and electronic sampling. This is, no doubt, in part to the band bringing famed producer Flood (Depeche Mode, U2, Erasure, Nine Inch Nails) into the fold. Unfortunately, however, the heavy synthesized music often sounds too dated and too gloomy, which seems to solidify the fact that this band is more concerned with being sealed in the amber of the past then to explore new music paths.

While they may be trying to distance themselves from the incessant Joy Division comparisons through theses multi-layered synth sounds, vocalist and guitarist Tom Smith still, nonetheless, croons deeply in the monochromatic style of Joy Division's late singer Ian Curtis (as well as his own contemporary Paul Banks of Interpol - yet another acolyte of bleak late '70s post-punk). Throw in some canned beats, Industrial-lite synths and dark lyrical imagery and it all comes off more like shoegazing goth-rock than innovative mordern indie music.

Ultimately it's a shame that an act of this caliber - one that without question has talent - not only refuses to progress, but seems quite content on sounding more and more like a Depeche Mode cover band.

Editors will be performing at the Vic Theater in Chicago on Monday, February 15th.

Related articles:

Editors - "One on One" - May 2008
Editors / Hot Hot Heat / Louis XIV - Concert review - Milwaukee, WI - Jan. 2008
Editors (Lollapalooza 2006) - Festival review - Chicago, IL - Aug. 2006
Livewire's Top 10 albums of 2006
Editors - The Back Room - Album review

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