Editors - The Weight of Your Love (Review)
Review by Jack Foley
EDITORS sound virtually unrecognisable from the band whose debut LP consisted of classic tracks Bullets, Blood and All Sparks.
Having lost founding member Chris Urbanowicz and recruited two new members in Justin Lockey and Elliot Williams perhaps that’s understandable. But where once they were one of indie’s great new hopes, the Birmingham outfit appear to have set their sights on bigger things, crossing over into epic rock and even dark, brooding rock territory.
Album opener The Weight, for instance, seems to be channelling Depeche Mode at their darkest, complete with gut-wrenchingly confessional lyrics from Tom Smith that declare: “I’m a lump of meat with a heartbeat, 2lectricity restarts me.”
Even on a track that suggests something sweeter, like Sugar, a brooding Smith laments: “It breaks my heart to love you.” And, again, the vocals seem to be offering up a mix of other singers, from Dave Gahan to Ian Curtis and even Brandon Flowers.
The sound is deeper, weightier, more foreboding, more pronounced. And it does admittedly take some getting used to. But it’s also progressive. Editors have clearly not allowed upheaval to deter them and their new sound grows on you the more you listen to it.
Sugar and The Weight are but two early highlights.
A Ton of Love, on the other hand, thrills by virtue of a more vibrant, stadium-filling sound and a little more positivity (“you’ve got to learn to be thankful for the things that you have”). The chorus, meanwhile, finds Smith belting out the lyric “desire” over and over and channelling Bono. It’s no coincidence, surely, that the guitar sound during the chorus also channels U2.
There are moments of tenderness, too. The soul-searching What Is This Thing Called Love slows down the pace, drops in a surprising falsetto and combines strings and pianos to notable effect. Instrumentally, it aspires to the beauty of Elbow; vocally, it’s more Verve.
Honesty similarly mixes string arrangements with guitars to satisfying, albeit melancholy effect (“don’t you want me to stay” being the aching opening lyric), while Nothing opens as if in classical mode for a slow-building epic.
Admittedly, the middle section of the album may be the part that people most struggle with – the decision to string three ballads together seeming an odd one, rather than mixing them around. But, for me, it just about works given the quality of the songs.
And with tracks like Hyena (a robust rocker with a belting chorus and some thought-provoking lyrics about the nature of government and people) and Bird of Prey ensuring a rousing finale to rival the epic likes of Coldplay or Elbow, Editors prove they have plenty up their sleeve to win over even more admirers.
The Weight of Your Love is therefore a strong listen and evidence of a band that continue to grow and expand their sound. It gets better with each listen.
Download picks: The Weight, Sugar, A Ton Of Love, What Is This Thing Called Love, Hyena, Bird of Prey