If I could only get past the electronic
nice vocals from Andy Bell
the included clip could really grow
not much for me after that

from the album - When I Start To (Break It All Down)


released Oct 4th, 2011

from allmusic


Following the disbandment of the short-lived synth pop group Yazoo, former Depeche Mode member Vince Clarke formed Erasure in 1985 with singer Andy Bell. Like Yaz and Depeche Mode, Erasure were a synth-based group, but they had stronger dance inclinations, as well as a sharper, more accessible sense of pop songcraft, than either of Clarke's previous bands. Furthermore, Erasure had the flamboyantly eccentric Andy Bell -- one of the first openly gay performers in pop music -- as their focal point. Bell's keening, high voice and exaggerated sense of theatrically became the band's defining image. In their native Britain, Erasure were successful from their inception. After a few years, the duo achieved commercial success in America with 1988's "Chains of Love," but they remained, in essence, a cult band on both sides of the Atlantic, cultivating a dedicated fan base over the course of their career.

Before forming Erasure, Clarke was one of the founding members of the groundbreaking synth pop outfit Depeche Mode. He left after recording only one album with the group, choosing to form Yaz with Alison Moyet instead. After Yaz released two albums, Moyet left to pursue a solo career. Clarke participated in a short-lived alliance with vocalist Feargal Sharkey and producer Eric Radcliffe called the Assembly in 1984. Following a single with vocalist Paul Quinn, he decided to form Erasure. Clarke placed an advertisement for vocalists within a British music newspaper and received over 40 demo tapes, from which Bell was selected as his partner.

Released in 1986, Erasure's first album, Wonderland, received poor reviews and weak sales upon its release. The duo quickly followed the album with "Sometimes," a preview from their forthcoming second album. "Sometimes" reached number two on the U.K. charts, beginning a string of successful singles that would run into the '90s.The Circus, the group's second album, was released in the spring of 1987 and peaked at number six on the U.K. charts. The Innocents, Erasure's third album, became their first number one album in Britain upon its release in 1988. The album featured the group's first American hit, "Chains of Love," which reached number 12 in the U.S.; its follow-up, "A Little Respect," peaked at number 14 in America. At the end of 1988, Erasure released the Crackers International EP, which reached number two in Britain.

Erasure's fourth album, Wild!, appeared in 1989, and like its predecessor, it reached number one in the U.K., as did its successor, 1991's Chorus. Erasure released the Abba-esque EP, a tribute to the Swedish pop group ABBA, in 1992; it became their first number one single in the U.K. Later that year, Erasure released a compilation of their British singles, Pop! The First 20 Hits. Two years later, the duo released its fifth album, I Say I Say I Say, which featured the hit single "Always," their first American hit since 1988. Erasure's eponymous sixth album was released in the fall of 1995. It was followed in the spring of 1997 by Cowboy. Loveboat surfaced three years later. The all-covers Others People's Songs appeared in 2003, the same year as the oddly chosen compilation Hits! Before the release of 2005's "return to form" album Nightbird, Bell revealed he was HIV positive and had been since June of 1998. The 2006 album Union Street found the duo unplugging and re-recording old album tracks and B-sides with acoustic instruments. A tour with a full band supported the album and was documented on the 2007 live release On The Road To Nashville. Later in the year the return-to-form album Light At The End Of The World arrived. Tomorrow's World followed in 2011 with the duo handing production over to Frankmusik, whose previous worked included Lady Gaga and yhe Pet Shop Boys.

Album Review

Erasure's previous effort returned the synth pop duo to form, so on their 2011 release, and 14th overall, they take the logical step of handing over a bit of their legacy to an outside producer. Electro-pop enthusiast Frankmusik (Lady Gaga, Pet Shop Boys) is the wise choice made here, and the results are generally quite good, sometimes excellent. Many tracks benefit from the attractive combination of lead singer Andy Bell's increased lyric-writing skills and the hired producer’s presentation of the 2011 house music "thwak," as both "I Lose Myself" and "Be with You" are fine acknowledgments of Gaga and Benny Benassi's dancefloor domination. Fans get to experience Vince Clarke's fingerprints on "Fill Us with Fire" and "When I Start To (Break It All Down)," as the recent reunion of his Yaz project is reflected in the nocturnal synth pop and soul muscle driving these highlights. There’s a cohesiveness issue that keeps this one off their top shelf, but Erasure have settled nicely into that groove that the best veteran bands often do. Last time out it was the vital release while this time it’s the very attractive diversion, adding new flavors to a group that sounds much more inspired than you’d expect at this point.

Track Listing

1. Be With You
2. Fill Us With Fire
3. What Will I Say When You're Gone
4. You've Got to Save Me Right Now
5. A Whole Lotta Love Run Riot
6. When I Start to (Break It All Down)
7. I Lose Myself
8. Then I Go Twisting
9. Just When I Thought It Was Ending