The Innocents and Things
Overall Album Score: 8.6 out of 10
Still not a great classic, but this album is, at least, formidable. Finally these dudes decide to put a little bit of PRODUCTION on these songs and ... yeah. These melodies really aren't so much better than they were on Wonderland (and Circus too, I guess), but there's actual PRODUCCCCCTIONNNNNNNNN.
The album not only has a few good radioesque hits, but even the non-radioesque hits are decent to listen to.
All in all, this is quite a decent album! Take it from me: the guy who knows about such things. Yeah. I know. Really. The worst song on here scored an 8 in the track reviews. I'd say that makes this a pretty good pop album then! It's slick, it's stylin', and it's 80s synth-pop ... what more could you ask for? Seriously! Erasure is the kewlest...
(Arrghhhh... don't you just hate it when you're reviewing an album and you run out of things to say about it? I'm having one of these moments right now if you couldn't tell. Well, what else do you want me to say? ... I want to have Andy Bell's baby? ... Because I can't! ... I'm just not properly equipped.)
Overall Album Score: 8.6 out of 10 (Nice! Erasure puts together an album not only with a bunch of catchy songs in it, but it's produced quite well this time.)
Average Song Score: 8.8 (Good songs all around on this one ... finally.)
Album Tilt: 8.5 (This is a consistent and enjoyable album to sit through ... other than this having to be a freaking 80s synth-pop album from 1988, there's nothing I can really complain about here. I like it!)
Artist Rating: 8.5 (Well, as divulged several times throughout this album review, this is a 1988 synth-pop album, after all. ... There's not a whole lot artistic about this ... but it wasn't supposed to be artistic.)
A Little Respect 10/10
Holy cow, how can you dislike a song like this? It's a perfectly fine little synth-pop number (with a NICE melody) that asks for a little respect? ... Well, at least they earn my respect here. This is a dang nice little number. Better yet, this was rather well-produced, which is something I liked complaining about Erasure in their previous two albums. Heck ... this is so well produced that I'd wager that it bears a little bit of Vince Clarke's soul ... which I wasn't aware existed until now. (Mind you, he's certainly no John Lennon.)
Ship of Fools 8.5/10
Okay, this isn't as nice as "A Little Respect," but ... I didn't expect another song like that! This is a slower-pace synth-pop number, and I do think it's pretty good. Again, Clarke's songwriting makes the whole thing seem so dang easy! Unfortunately, it's not extremely catchy (which is kinda vital for a successful synth-pop song). I do like the way this one was produced as well. It's good.
Phantom Bride 8.5/10
Not bad whatsoever. This one's more upbeat and VERY pleasant. (I mean, these guys aren't too far removed from ABBA, here, if you're looking for unrelentingly pleasant pop music without making you want to barf.) Of course, this is no freaking classic, but the melody has a few good hooks and ... wow ... the production levels are quite nice. I'm so glad the band decided to work on that.
Chains of Love 9.5/10
Mmmmm... this pop is sinfully delicious... I'm not going to deny I'm enjoying the freaking hell out of Erasure here. WHY DO I HAVE TO DENY MY INNERMOST PLEASURES??? I MIGHT NOT BELIEVE IN SEX BEFORE MARRIAGE, BUT AT LEAST GRANT ME SYNTH-POP PLEASURES!!!!!!! The melody is very catchy (and the chorus is simply excellent) and ... dudes. Again, I have to note the song production. They did a total 180 on that aspect of their songs. This is very nice, indeed.
Hallowed Ground 9/10
CRAP!!!!! Another nice one! This is a mid-tempoed song that features ECHOES. ... Not as bad as you might think. The melody is good and ... mmmm ... I'm enjoying this album more than Plain M&M's methinks.
Sixty-Five Thousand 9/10
A fun instrumental ... sort of in the same vein as "Mambo" from the West Side Story. It might be freaking 80s music, but ... 80s music is awesome. ... Well at least it's pretty awesome here.
Heart of Stone 8.5/10
Another high-quality pop song in this, so far, remarkably consistent album. A nice tune, good synth-pop production ... very good pop. Quite enjoyable.
...Ohhhhhhhhhh... that's where I check my mail ... I enjoy the rhythm, even though it's more on the CHOPPY side rather than the smooth side. The melody is lesser. ... Just to prove what I'm saying about these guys adapting a greater production values, they had a soulful choir sing to this one! Whether it works here is up to you. It wasn't a great song to begin with.
I like the groove. It's simple, but effective. The melody is catchy. The song is fun. FUN! ... DON'T DENY YOUR INNERMOST DESIRE TO HAVE FUN!!!!! YOU ARE MERELY HUMAN!!!!!!!!!
Witch in the Ditch 8/10
Not quite as good this time, but it's still fairly enjoyable. The backing doesn't seem to do the melody much good ... but the melody wasn't great, anyway. Still a decent little synth-pop number, though.
Weight of the World 8.5/10
Pretty nice ... the melody is good. The production is nice ... NICE SONG! ... Yes ... and this has been a nice 80s pop album. If you want a good 80s pop album, then get this one. Baby.
A bonus track, "When I Needed You" is included as well as a synth-pop cover of Phil Spector's and Tina Turner's "River Deep, Mountain High." Both of these bonus tracks are good (and the latter one is surprisingly good), and make worthwhile additions to the CD release of the album. The End.
All reviews are copyrighted by the author, Michael Lawrence. Dummadoomiemoomiefoomie.