In This Light and on This Evening
By Eileen Tilson
In the music industry, the third time is definitely
is the charm. By a band’s third album, they should have formally gelled
creatively, perfected their live show, and understand their own talent enough to
expand their music to the next level of fans. When Radiohead’s OK
Computer was released, it was musically beyond what they had accomplished on
their previous two albums allowing them to reach a new audience, without
abandoning their original followers. More recently, on Scotsmen Franz
Ferdinand’s third album, Tonight, the band branched out by blending their
indie rock with electronic pop. They created a band wagon for others, without
casting aside those who believed in them from the get go. Unfortunately for
Editor’s fans, the band’s third LP, In This Light and on This Evening,
moves to unfamiliar territory, lacking the excitement and talent needed to move
the music to the next level.
The album opens with the title track, and
immediately sets the dark stage for the record. Tom Smith’s familiar baritone
voice beckoning “I swear to God, I heard the Earth inhale,” taking you in before
dropping a sonic bomb that does less than shock and awe, with synths and keys.
“Bricks and Mortar” have a Kraftwerk-inspired pulse running through its veins,
while the experimental, industrial sounding “Eat Raw Meat = Blood Drawl” tries
to come close to Radiohead’s “We Suck Young Blood,” but is just not strong
enough to pull it off.
Uncreative lyrically – with metaphors like
“Treasure”'s "You are what you eat, you'll become digested… You are what you
eat, you'll become digestives" – Smith seems to use every opportunity to rhyme
and the band seems to have replaced every instrument except bass, with
synthesizers, keyboards, and Casio drum machines. Drawing heavily on his adopted
home town of London, Smith claims that the album is “a record that
sings of no God, a record of broken love songs, a record where the filthy city
is so close you can smell it, taste it, a record of drunken violence, a record
which has lost all trust in those in charge of our world." Although produced by the innovative Mark “Flood”
Ellis (Soft Cell, Depeche Mode, Sigur Ros), the band does not reach the gloomy
heights that their obvious influences, Joy Division, The Cure, Depeche Mode have
built their careers on.
This album is a far cry from the lighter waving
music from their previous attempts, and while change is usually always great, I
cannot help but to hope that perhaps the English boys will dust off their
guitars for their next creation.