Editors have always been a band that have managed to inspire rather divisive opinions within the audience of a certain musical spectrum. Their 2005 début – The Back Room – received critically positive reviews at the time of its release, spawning the massive song Munich in its wake. Munich itself probably served to prove itself to be somewhat of a double edged sword; it was a stellar introduction into the world and personified the Editors sound, however it also became a pinnacle that every subsequent release from the band would ultimately contend with.
Their fourth album, The Weight Of Your Love, is similarly an effort of highs and sporadic lows. The first question on many a person’s lips would be whether the murky electronica of previous effort – 2009’s In This Light And On This Evening –still omnipresent. The easiest and quickest way to answer this is ‘no’, or perhaps ‘definitely not’, as the Birmingham based have practically stripped away and destroyed any trace of the pervading synths, which have instead been replaced by a more atmospheric sound. It is a severe shift in almost re-direction for the band following very mixed reviews for In This Light… which, whilst being an almost wild-card effort in comparison to their other albums, contained some very good tracks in the name of You Don’t Know Love, Eat Raw Meat = Blood Drool, and the title track itself. This aside, the band have always had a knack for creating a truly immersive ambiance within their albums, and this feat continues with the opening track for The Weight Of Your Love, entitled The Weight, which triumphantly announces its arrival before doing a U-turn, slowly building in intensity until it morphs into a cult-like crescendo. The following track, Sugar, is certainly an album highlight, possessing a foreboding, scuzzy intro that is reminiscent of Bjork’s Army Of Me, with vocalist Tom Smith sadly crooning ‘It breaks my heart to love you’ before the music makes a spiralling descent into more familiar territory.
When A Ton Of Love – the track that preceded the album – was released upon the world, it drew comparative criticisms from many for strongly echoing, well, Echo and the Bunnymen, which is a tad frustrating, yet the track somehow succeeds in implanting its refrain into the head of the listener and calls for – perhaps reluctant – repeat listens. The album’s middle section is perhaps the album’s most frustrating point, with a medley of slowies of varying quality; it’s easy for the listener to get lost within the album – and at times not necessarily in a good way. What Is This Thing Called Love carries a stadium vibe is the strongest of the trio emotive songs, but Nothing offers as much as it’s title suggests and quickly turns into merely repetitive fodder. The tracks that succeed it are more interesting – The Phone Book especially, carries a folk edge, whilst Hyena carries an addictive, mocking melody in the verse.
The title of the album certainly gives a lot away in regards to content; all of the songs are about love, often with the negative aspects outweighing the positive here. Lyrically many of the songs are solemn, for example in Honesty Smith sings ‘Collide into me, I could do with a fight. Collide into me, coz it feels right’, the song documenting a love turned sour, or perhaps merely coming to the realisations of how love can really be. Drums mark the end of the album with Bird Of Prey, and one can’t help but feel that if Editors pushed that little bit more with their experimentations, the end result would be so much better. A blend of both their original sound with the synths of In This Light… would have resulted in something more interesting, but alas, this does not happen. There is a sense that in aiming for subtlety, the band have restrained the sound of their songs, and ultimately the album’s potential.
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