Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Album Review: Erasure - Snow Globe

There are some artists that you just can't imagine putting out a full Christmas album, but when they do, you are so happy you could burst.

That's the case with Erasure's Snow Globe.

The album opens with the stunning "Bells Of Love" which really isn't holiday or winter related, but it is one of the strongest songs on the album. It is the one song that will stick with you all year long.

"Gaudete" is the album's lead single. It is songs such as this that show off Andy Bell's vocals. It leaves the listener breathless. It is a medieval song of praise written sometime between the 15th and 16th century.

Next up is "Make It Wonderful" another Erasure original that feels Christmasy but really is pure Erasure and not really holiday related at all, yet somehow it fits perfectly among all the other more festive tunes.

"Sleep Quietly" is a haunting carol. Vince Clarke provides an appropriately dark and atmospheric melody of bleeps and bloops.

Erasure recorded "Silent Night" many years back and Snow Globe wouldn't be complete without this song making an appearance. This is a song that so many have covered, some good, some bad and in the case of Erasure, some magnificent. If you are a religious person, you may feel like you are in the presence of angels when you hear Andy Bell sing this.

"Loving Man" is another departure from the festive fun. This song is fun and just what you'd expect from Erasure. It makes you want to get up and dance.

Vince Clarke once again brings some interesting electronic sounds to the standard "The Christmas Song." It is probably one of the weaker tracks on the album, mostly because in an album full of more unique selections this particular song feels a bit out of place.

"In The Bleak Midwinter" follows in the vein of "Gaudete" and "Sleep Quietly." This is a darkly beautiful carol. This song seems to be becoming a staple on holiday albums since The Moody Blues recorded it for their 2003 release December.

"Blood On The Snow" is another moody sounding song. Andy's range dips low for these, really low!

"There'll Be No Tomorrow" is another bouncy dance number. This is a great song to play to ring in the New Year.

The album closes with three holiday standards "Midnight Clear," the overdone, "White Christmas" and "Silver Bells."

Of the three, "Silver Bells" is the one that stands out. Andy delivers a theatrical vocal and Vince's melody is full of whimsy. It is the perfect song to close out an album that is a must have for your holiday.

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