Erasure – The Neon

Positive vibes through and through

Erasure - The Neon

Album facts

Release Date: August 21st, 2020
Label: Mute Records
Genre: , ,
Discogs: Link
Partially sounds like: Pet Shop Boys

After the extremely mel­an­chol­ic album 'World Be Gone' from 2017, the tracks of the latest work 'The Neon' by 'Erasure' are now in the start­ing blocks. The time we live in hasn't got­ten much bet­ter apart from the big Covid-19 pan­dem­ic and the almost world­wide polit­ic­al nar­row-minded­ness. But Andy Bell and Vince Clark have focused on the more pos­it­ive sides of life and you can hear and feel that on 'The Neon'.

Let's dive into neonlights

Already with the light-footed open­er 'Hey Now (Think I Got A Feeling)' you can guess what to expect on 'The Neon'. For good reas­on 'Erasure' released this track as the first offi­cial lyr­ics music video and I have to admit that my anti­cip­a­tion was huge. 'Hey Now (Think I Got A Feeling)' is that typ­ic­al good mood Electro Pop sound we all love from 'Erasure'. A crisp bass­line and catchy melody and a chor­us straight from pop heaven.

For the second track 'Nerves Of Steel' the band releases the first offi­cial music video for the album 'The Neon'. And this is well deserved, because the track is one of the most catchy songs on the long­play­er. The track reminds me a bit of the hit 'Subject/Object' from Andy Bell's album 'Non-Stop' (2010). The tempo and ton­al­ity are about the same. Here the com­par­is­on is to be under­stood as a qual­ity fea­ture. My only point of cri­ti­cism is the cow­ardly fade out at the end. Sadly the song sounds a bit unfin­ished here.

The tempo and the feel­ing of well being rises with the song 'Fallen Angel'. The pos­it­ive vibes are trans­por­ted through beau­ti­ful, easy to under­stand meta­phors. The synths are var­ied and float like feath­ers next to the lyr­ics. A simple sound­ing but great Electropop song for the soul.

Neon lights for the disco floor

The Electopop-Disco with a touch 70s is per­fectly covered with the song 'No Point in Tripping'. Listening to the fourth track on the album 'The Neon', you can clearly see the pos­it­ive mood Andy Bell and Vince Clark were in when they com­posed and pro­duced. Lyrically all neg­at­ive thoughts are pushed aside and the joy of life is cel­eb­rated. The arrange­ment of the synths reflects this in a fant­ast­ic way and sup­ports the mes­sage of the song.

Watch me fly instead of fall. Won't you catch me when I call?
Lyrics from 'No Point In Tripping' by Erasure

Erasure (Promo photo 2020)
Erasure (Promo photo 2020 at Gods Own Junkyard, London)

'Shot A Satellite' has the crispest beat and is the per­fect Single for radio play. Unfortunately there was only a lyr­ic video, but the song deserves more! Somehow the song sounds like an Erasure clas­sic from the first listen­ing. Comparable to songs like 'Sometimes', 'Always' or even 'Love To Hate You', seen from the per­spect­ive, let's say in 10 years. The only flaw to a per­fectly cut dia­mond is the unin­spired fade out like on 'Nerves Of Steel'. Nevertheless I give the track full 5 stars because I really love it and it sounds like a per­fect Erasure song to me.

Dimmed light, please

Also mel­an­choly is not neg­lected on the album 'The Neon'. This is where the sixth song 'Tower Of Love' comes in, which could also be a miss­ing song or b‑side from the album 'I Say, I Say, I Say'. But after the first half full of groovy Electropop songs that are scream­ing with joy of life, this is a pleas­ant low tempo down­er. Above all, this song provides the kind of dynam­ic on an album that makes it inter­est­ing to listen to in one session.

Yay, arms up for 'Diamond Lies'. Instantly my shoulders and hips move to the beat of the music. A splen­did song that invites you to dance. The synth sounds cre­ated here also stand out clearly on the album. I would define the son­ic approach as play­ful and naive. 'Diamond Lies' is one of the best songs on 'The Neon' and I'm strongly hop­ing for a Single includ­ing a music video.

I'm going stop pre­tend­ing, I can't be that guy. […] My mind is grow­ing hazy now, I can't be that guy.
Lyrics from 'Diamond Lies' by Erasure

I skip the piano com­pos­i­tion 'New Horizions' and we reach 'Careful What I Try To Do'. Apart from the amaz­ing arrange­ment and the excit­ing sound­ing synths and effects, I find the lyr­ics and meta­phors here par­tic­u­larly strong. Passages like for example: "When you care about the import­ant things and you came along at the per­fect time when I needed you I was on my knees" or "I am nev­er met a muse, before you came along cre­ated new […] I'm so proud to be with you although we have our dif­fer­ing views" and many more makes my heart melt. Thank you Erasure, for this song to all lovers.

The last song is a soul­ful bal­lad (Fortunately not the typ­ic­al piano bal­lad that every­body expects.) that feels warm and sooth­ing. The pulse slowly goes down and an inner peace comes up while listen­ing. For a bal­lad, this song is very diver­si­fied and cap­tiv­at­ing. If you listen closer you can hear the com­plex­ity of the indi­vidu­al audio chan­nels, but the song itself nev­er seems over­loaded. A per­fect end­ing for 'The Neon'.

How much neon is there for the money of the album purchase?

Definitely more than you can get at Gods Own Junkyard. 'The Neon' is def­in­itely an 'Erasure' album that fans have been wait­ing for a long time. Tonally and qual­it­at­ively com­par­able to albums like 'I Say, I Say, I Say' or 'Tomorrow's World', Andy Bell and Vince Clark have once again pro­duced a fant­ast­ic album.

The ques­tion of pur­chase does not even arise for Erasure fans. To all oth­er read­ers with a music­al focus on Electropop and Synth Pop, I would like to make an urgent recom­mend­a­tion to buy this album. This is really a bright neon shin­ing release that cov­ers all col­ours of sound.

By the way, this album also made it into our art­icle 'The best Synth Pop and genre-related albums 2020'. Further you should check the pos­i­tion of this album in the art­icle 'What is the best Erasure album ever?'.

Track By Track Rating

Erasure - The Neon
Erasure – The Neon
Hey Now (Think I Got A Feeling)
Nerves Of Steel
Fallen Angel
No Point In Tripping
Shot A Satellite
Tower Of Love
Diamond Lies
New Horizons
Careful What I Try To Do
Kid You're Not Alone
Hey Now (Think I Got A Feeling)
Nerves Of Steel
Fallen Angel
Diamond Lies
(Nothing to report here)