England’s infamous and synth-pop genre-defining duo, Erasure, returns with their eighth studio album The Neon, bringing audiences a refreshment of slick new-wave grooves. Embedding their roots into the musical world since before Erasure was ever formed with Vince Clarke’s inspirational presence before Dave Gahan’s arrival in what would be later remembered forever as Depeche Mode, Clarke’s interest in electronic music would be sparked upon hearing Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark or (OMD). It was only after Clarke left and sent out an advert in the local paper would Andy Bell join the scene and become Erasure’s iconic frontman vocalist.
With rocky beginnings, Erasure received adequate recognition for their first two albums Wonderland and Circus, it would be their third studio album, The Innocents, that would bring the duo to fame sparking a surge of popularity. Since then Erasure has produced a plethora of music ranging over 200 tracks, and production for various other sources whilst becoming an LGBTQ+ icon.
The Neon opens with the thrasher “Hey Now (Think I Got A Feeling),” bringing an energetic florescent EDM melody worth every heart pulsing beat to groove out to. Pulsating with the energy of archetypal synth-wave, “Nerves of Steel” comes dropping in second up with a trickling sugary synth melody and empathetic, dark percussions overlaid by Bell’s robust vocals to drive this track home through narcotically transcendent melodic effects. Heavy up surging synths echo to contrast something dark and uplifting between abyssal percussions and Bell’s hoisted vocals; an easy repeat track for stimulating motivation while at work or just exhilarating background sound while enjoying the great outdoors.
Head-banging, arousing “No Point in Tripping” brings a solid percussions beatdown with spine-tingling synth breakdowns to beckon a frenzied dance session within one’s enclosed bedroom with the lights dimmed to low for aesthetic appeal. Comprising the sinful ambrosia of ’80s synth-dance-wave, “Shot A Satellite” is encircled by the funky aberrant synths that make it hard to resist busting out those sunglasses and leather jacket people have in their closet collecting dust in this summer heatwave, but well worth the aesthetic if people are going to groove out the right way.
Chilling to the bone, “Tower of Love” is driven by Bell’s vicarious vocals leading the ensemble of low-fi benevolent synths and drum machines slamming the ‘spear of emotion’ right-through ‘the feels,’ giving this track that sensitive, melancholy expression most synth-wave new-wave artists so often project in their works. Hitting next in the lineup, “Diamond Lies” is a collage of sly waving synths mixed between strong compassionate vocals and pulse hammering beats that may allude to sounds people would find relative to that of the drowning synth waves of the underground aesthetic of Cold Cave or TRST.
If the feels weren’t already touched, prepare one’s heart for “New Horizons” that entangles sentimental expression by use of main driving, steady, gloomy pianos and Bell’s sorrowful vocals. On another note, one should prepare themselves to hit the bedroom dance floor for “Careful What I Try to Do,” delivering once again hard-hitting, pulsating synths that reflects a strong familiarity with Erasure’s sly melodic dance rhythms in earlier works throughout the decades.
“Kid You’re Not Alone” brings the conclusion of The Neon with a slower, dismal paced melody made sentimental by Bell’s slower rhythmic heartfelt vocals, making this track a more sensitive ending, but not shy off of being a fitting end.
Erasure has been among other ’80s musical groups as a driving inspiration to many of the synthpop bands of today and remains a resource for recognition to their witting brilliance with the musical arts of synth-wave. The Neon is worth the listen and will cause people to hit the repeat button; it just adds to an endless menagerie of music and works Bell and Clarke have put out throughout the late 20th and early 21st centuries. This album is sure to satisfy loyal Erasure and synth-wave fans across the globe.