Erasure – Day-Glo (Based on a True Story) (Album Review)

In the realms of the long-established genre known as Synthpop, Erasure is up there in the canon with the likes of Pet Shop Boys, Depeche Mode, and O.M.D.. Formed in 1985, in London, England, by Vince Clarke (synthesizers) and Andy Bell (vocals), the duo has proven to be among the most enduring and prolific – with eighteen studio albums to boot, from 1986’s Wonderland and the U.K. number-one The Innocents of 1988 to the last chart-topper, 2020’s The Neon. And now, Clark and Bell are ready once again to release their quick follow up.

Slated to come out at the shops on Friday, August 12, 2022, via Mute Records, Erasure’s eighteenth effort is what may be described as “an inventive result of creating something new out of elements from their last record.” Titled Day-Glo (Based on a True Story), it is a collection of 10 brand-new tracks that are woven with each other like the subplots of a thrilling film noir.

A surprise album consisting of ten songs, Day-Glo (Based on a True Story) opens with the cinematic, New Age–tinged “Based on a True Story” – waving, throbbing, pulsating, engaging. The mood then suddenly bursts into the orange-bright, bass-thumping groove of “Bop Beat,” only to slow down again with the somber “Pin-Prick”; it will fit onto a playlist that includes choice tracks by the likes of Enya, Enigma, and Portishead.

Erasure then takes the listener to its romantic melodies of old, with the heartrending Synthpop ballads “The Conman ” and “Now” – both painted with a palette of neon sonic hues and shades. Moving forward, “Inside Out” frees the senses, turning the listener into a dancer ready to embrace the flickering lights of the mirrorball-lit floor. Another trance-like experience plays next in the form of the sparse-sounding “Harbour of My Heart.” The graceful sway then builds up into the emphatic beats and rhythm of “3 Strikes and You’re Out.” After another filmic excursion–“The Shape of Things,” the dynamic and vibrant Clarke and Bell close their latest narrative aptly with the musicbox-stylized “The End.”

Even amid the various guises and standards of today’s Pop music, Erasure’s style and discipline remain something for enthusiasts to look forward to and for new artists to aspire for. With Bell’s distinctive voice and Clarke’s prolific songwriting genius, Erasure’s music is surely here to stay for at least a couple decades and several albums more. Day-Glo (Based on a True Story) is another testament to that. For these reasons and more, Cryptic Rock gives it 4 out of 5 stars.

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