Thursday, May 31, 2007

Light at the End of the World

Posted on Thu, May 31, 2007 at 4:00 AM

Light at the End of the World
Label: Mute
Length: LP
Media: CD
Format: Album
WorkNameSort: Light at the End of the World
With the chains of love ' the very same ones that connected them with mass audiences in their late-'80s alt prime ' long since broken (blame the country album � no, the covers one), Andy Bell and Vince Clarke carry on with periodic brushes with brilliance, typically buoyed by the very same synthetic loony-bounce that earned them little respect in their Erasure heyday. But even the diehards would have to agree that for some time there has been something missing from their well-tested synth/gay formula: namely, substance. Light at the End of the World represents a valiant attempt at pulling Andy Bell's lyrical head out of its posterior and back onto the dance floor ' a feat it occasionally succeeds in ('Storm in a Teacup� is a masterstroke about his drunk mother, first single 'I Could Fall in Love With You� is an Innocents-style stomper of warm abandon). Unfortunately, the edge largely remains dulled, missing the marks nailed by transcendent hits like 'Drama,� 'Chorus� and 'Stop!� and too often falling into a half-hearted patchwork of unsurprising clichés that suggest duty rather than booty. Still, it kicks the sullied asses of Cowboy and Loveboat easily enough. Deservedly so.

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