I was hoping to be sitting down today writing a review of the Editors gig at the Eventim Apollo, but a bout of illness Chez Waffle put paid to that. However, I will tell you the story about when hubby went to see them on the last tour in Birmingham. Being with a group of fellas, and valuing beer money more than the highest standards of accommodation in that city, an economy hotel booking was made. The discovery of a half eaten Ginsters steak pasty among the bedclothes (I kid you not) meant I got very little detail of the ins and outs of the gig, such was the chagrin at the offending pastry item. Maybe that memory bought on the sickness of yesterday.
Anyway, to the album. Editors always come across as a moody, arty kind of band. The last album, The Weight Of Your Love, was a mixed bag – three banging tracks up front, then a bit patchy afterwards. The artwork on In Dream is again stunning, courtesy of Rahi Rezvani, and moody is the default emotion again, but this has way more synth. In fact at first I found it too much, too cold, too one dimensional. But after a few listens I am appreciating its merits much more. There are numerous citations of 80’s influences I could give you: Human League in Life Is A Fear, Depeche Mode’s Construction Time Again in The Law and Bronski Beat in Our Love, the result of a period of song writing isolation on the Scottish coast.
Opening track and first album taster , No Harm, seemed an odd choice initially, being shall we say “sparse” in likeability and short of the expected hook of an opening salvo. Maybe it was deliberately chosen to make a statement about the material. Forgiveness follows and this is more like it: “Forgiveness makes fools of all of us” and “The line in the sand ain’t drawn for everyone, the flag in your hand don’t make you American” backed with staccato phrases. It’s my favourite track of the album. Then we get Salvation, which has the guys at their most bombastic and anthemic. Backing vocals from Rachel Goswell appear on several tracks on the album and The Law is quite touching as there seems to be a reassuring dialogue between the male and female vocal. Our Love is a bit left field as Tom Smith’s vocal goes incredibly (and a bit uncomfortably) high when for me, the pleasure in listening to him is wallowing in that glorious baritone. All The Kings is the brother of Forgiveness, another likeable stabbing track. And rounding off the album (and rightly, the tour set list) is Marching Orders, a proper punt at a climactic rouser. I do like an album that ends in a satisfying manner and there’s a sense that it’s the up to the down of No Harm at the start of this listening experience.
Overall I would say that I’ve been won round by the album, and wish I’d got to that gig to nail down my opinions more fully. Artistic and beautiful or a bit cold and pretentious? The jury is still discussing the evidence.