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Andy Bell - Electric Blue


Review: Evelyn O'Connell

ANDY Bell has sold in excess of 20 million records worldwide and has had over 30 hit singles as one half of Erasure.

The band's latest album, Nightbird, has received huge praise from critics as has their recent sold out European and North American tour, The Erasure Show.

Andy has now signed a worldwide solo recording deal with Sanctuary Records and his debut album, Electric Blue, is released on October 3.

On first sighting Electric Blue could easily be mistaken for a porn flick as the PR casing for the album was a DVD case featuring a blurred picture of a young lady with something in her mouth and an 18 certificate on the front. I was beginning to wonder which direction Indie London was taking, until turning it round to discover it was Andy Bell’s solo work.

Electric Blue features 14 brand new tracks, including two duets with Claudia Brucken (of Propaganda and Act) and Jake Shears (of Scissor Sisters).

The beat is slightly different to Erasure’s usual synth-tastic style, but as this is Mr Bell’s solo project then you can’t really expect to hear Mr Clarke’s symphonic synths too, although Vince Clarke has made club remixes of Electric Blue's first single release, Crazy.

This album is certainly similar to what you would expect from half of Erasure, although the track I Thought It Was You - a duet with Jake Shears - does scream of Scissor Sisters and is a very interesting combination showing the glam disco talents of Jake Shears mixing extremely well with Bell’s diva-esque vocals.

The title track, Electric Blue, is a very strong dance track that could easily make you believe you were still listening to Erasure.

Actually, most of the album is not a far cry from Erasure’s normal high-class style, just without Vince Clarke and his lovely synthesizers.

Please don’t misunderstand me though, Electric Blue is not just Erasure without the synths, it does rightly deserve to stand on its own two feet as a good album - but you just can’t help listening to it and thinking 'this is Erasure without Vince Clarke'.

Undoubtedly fans of Erasure will lap this up. Maybe some will be left feeling a little disappointed that Andy Bell didn’t try to go in a few different directions with different styles but Erasure have proven themselves for the past two decades at doing something very well, so maybe that’s why Andy Bell wasn’t so adventurous with his solo project?

I enjoyed most of the tracks on the album with highlights being Runaway, Fantasy, See The Lights Go Out, and the recent single, Crazy.

Electric Blue was co-written and recorded throughout 2004 and 2005 with Manhattan Clique (Philip Larsen and Chris Smith) who, as well as Erasure, have also worked with Moby, The B-52’s, Stereophonics and Goldfrapp in recent months.

Related reviews: Erasure - Nightbird

Erasure - Live

 

Track listing:
1. Intro
2. Caught In A Spin
3. Crazy
4. Love Oneself (Feat. Claudia Brucken)
5. I Thought It Was You (Feat. Jake Shears)
6. Electric Blue
7. Jealous
8. Shaking My Soul
9. Runaway
10. I'll Never Fall In Love Again
11. Delicious (Feat. Claudia Brucken)
12. Fantasy
13. See The Lights Go Out
14. The Rest Of Our Lives

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