Release Date: Mar 9, 2018
Record label: Mute
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Contemporary Pop/Rock, Indie Pop
Following its antecedent by less than a year, World Beyond is a track-by-track orchestrated version of Erasure's 2017 album, World Be Gone. The band last did something like this in 1987 on a handful of tracks from The Two Ring Circus, a companion LP to their second album, The Circus. A re-recording more than a "reimagining," it captures Andy Bell back in the studio for fresh vocal takes, this time with the Belgian chamber ensemble Echo Collective.
Here's an oddity: synth-pop duo Erasure have inexplicably decided to release a "classical reworking" of their 2017 album World Be Gone, with help from musicians Echo Collective, which replaces drums and electronic textures with strings and piano. This places a lot of emphasis on the songwriting – bold for an act that had their biggest success with an EP of Abba covers – and at times it is found wanting. The opening track Oh What A World plods through verses that pay no attention to syllable placing whatsoever ("We've become border, line, obsessive compul, sives"), and powerful lyrics are undermined by a monotonous and instantly cloying hook in Still It's Not Over.