There has been much anticipation on both sides of the pond for the British multi-platinum selling group The Editors. But is all the hype well deserved? Looking at past successes, the numerous headlining festival positions, the overwhelming critical acceptance and the pure black and white revelation of sales number would all imply yes. But does success meet success with the new album, The Weight of your Love?
Decidedly, no. But before you flame the comments about how I’m a hackneyed, biased philistine (which I assure you I am) and impassioned pleas to reconsider my idiotic stance allow me some few paragraphs for damage control. I thank you much.
The Weight of your Love crushes the audience with overly dramatic lyrics via overly elaborate orchestration. This is not necessarily a bad thing. The sad bastard white boy blues can and has been done well in the vein of fellow countrymen Nick Drake, or Echo and the Bunnymen. However, both those acts were rather crisp in their timing, predating this current release by decades as well as… well frankly as being entertaining to listen to. There is something dark and disturbing and ultimately satisfying about the English tradition of downer jams that the Editors aspire to with the new record but ultimately fail at.
Don’t discount the entirety of the group’s discography though. Perhaps owing to a younger, hungrier age past albums fit nicely into the dirge heavy Pink Floyd/Radiohead/Joy Division sound. See tracks ‘Munich,’ or ‘Papillon.’ Unfortunately, then you have to compare those tracks to The Weight of your Love.
Groups change and it’s doubtful many people realize the full implications success has on a band. And while The Editors must be credited for the evolution of sound on the Weight, its not unreasonable to suggest the direction chosen might have been too easy, too obvious. What’s worse is to describe that sound as contractual.
The album begins on its highest note with its titular track. “The Weight,” comes across as this decisively creepy, late Doors era single. The tension contained within the drawn out spacing and desultory lyrics is the perfect set-up intro for the group to unleash on the next track a more raucous, energetic offering. But the pay off doesn’t come. The audience rolls along into “Sugar,” unsure of the direction intended. It sounds similar in nature to the “The Weight,” but less intriguing. And then more of the same on the third track, “A Ton of Love.” And then again on the next track, and then again, etc etc etc, until the final track plays out and silence ensues.
I wish I could say something like, “the deep cut, song so&so offers a bit of relief from the monotony of the album as a whole,” but it’s blatantly untrue. Tracks are indecipherable from each other and nothing stands out. As well the BPM’s remain static and the lyrics are comparable to a mildly neurotic failed poet’s diary entries, not to mention the complete and utter lack of musical landscaping. It’s like a pleasure cruise on the great Salt Lake. There’s nothing to look at, and after only a few moments it’s obvious that what seemed like a good idea was in fact a mistake.
So gauge away ye loyal fans. Tell us how we’re wrong.