‘90s synth-pop legend returns
Following the break-up of the short-lived synth-pop group, Yahzoo, Andy Bell and former Depeche Mode member Vince Clarke, formed Erasure in 1985. Since then, Erasure has become a prominent name within synthpop and electronic music throughout the ‘90s. March 9th marked the release of Erasure’s latest project, World Beyond, a re-recording of World Be Gone, a collaborative project between Andy Bell and Echo Collective.
One of the most prominent elements of World Beyond is the overall beauty of the instrumentation and the vocals of Andy Bell. The same ensemble feel that Echo Collective brought to the prior project is maintained in this latest re-recording. The entire album has the epic film score feel, similar to that of a Disney classic soundtrack, with the powerful vocal range layered smoothly on top of the instrumentation.
This epic feel is something that remains throughout the entirety of the project. Even though the songs each have their distinct feel and tempo, they blend together so nicely that the transitions are seamless between each track. The songs function more like chapters would in a book contributing to a story that Erasure is taking the listener on throughout the album.
The album is only ten tracks long but the dense power of the music makes the album feel much longer. Yet, this lengthy feel is more enjoyable than annoying, because there is a lot to process from the instrumental standpoint. Every song carries the ensemble feel of modern classical music, yet it is applied in a poppier style of arrangement. There is a clear influence from the popularity of Erasure in the ‘90s which is why it has that ‘90s style soundtrack feel.
Andy Bell’s vocal adds a whole other dimension to an already impressive instrumental arrangement. He does not shy away from taking risks vocally but has a keen awareness of when and where to let up off the gas. Their feelings of liberal risk-taking and mature control that demonstrate Bell’s maturity as an artist.
For some, World Beyond may simply be an album that pays homage to a great work of prominent ‘90s artists; however, this album not only pays homage to what made music great in the ‘90s in the first place, Erasure takes that greatness and recontextualizes it over 20 years later. Erasure is not simply recycling old material they are taking everything that made them great and showing the world that greatest in a new way.