The Violet Flame shows Erasure still sounding very danceworthy, but also with some added maturity here and there.
"Elevation" is the opening single. This is Erasure, doing their best to remind us that disco didn't really die. Andy Bell is channeling Donna Summer and ABBA on this one, and the sound is totally infectious. This one song defines what Erasure is all about, great dance music.
"Reason" is a little bit cheesy in the lyric department, and the sound is rehashed, I Say, I Say, I Say, but considering I Say was one of their most fun offerings, that doesn't mean that this is bad. In fact, the chorus to this one, is going to worm its way into your head, and it will probably stay there for the long haul.
From the opening strains of "Be The One" you know that this is more than just a love song. It makes you wonder if it is a song about Andy Bell's partner, Paul Hickey who passed away two years ago. This is also one of the band's best ballad's since "Tenderest Moments." Its a shame that there aren't more ballads on The Violet Flame.
This album is more about dancing and what's good is good, but unfortunately there are a few filler tracks that just don't make the cut and "Dead Of Night" and "Smoke and Mirrors" fit in that category. There are still more shining stars than duds though. "Sacred" and "Under The Wave" are pure Erasure fun.
"Paradise" has a darker, spacey tone. It's more techno in the bleeps and bloops department, a darker shade of pop, and oddly it works. Erasure usually work the best when they stick to what they are good at, shiny, happy, music. This is one of the exceptions.
The album closes with "Stay A Little Late Tonight" another, dare I say it "Abba-esque" sounding track. Its a strong ending to a near perfect album. Sure there are a few misses here, but this is still a solid offering, and really, Erasure can do no wrong. They are one of the few bands to put out a perfect covers album. The only downside to this album is the cover. The Day Of The Dead themed art doesn't seem to fit the title or the music.
5 out of 5 stars