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
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
The title track, Electric Blue, is a very strong dance
track that could easily make you believe you were still listening
Actually, most of the album is not a far cry from Erasure’s
normal high-class style, just without Vince Clarke and his lovely
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
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
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.
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