Trees festooned with gaudy balls. Comedy sweaters. Snow globes. Christmas is essentially a festival of camp, and it may just have found a new soundtrack. Erasure’s 15th studio album, a faux-solemn amalgam of Christmas carols, hymns and original material, is so archly irreverent that it virtually arrives sporting a tinsel tutu. Vince Clark’s analog bleeps and squelches, unchanged since Erasure’s ’80s heyday, sound so quaint that they virtually qualify as retro-futurist, while Andy Bell’s cherubic trill (“I’ve re-found my inner choirboy,” he claims) fits these festive frills perfectly. Of the self-penned tracks, the Hi-NRG pledge of devotion “Loving Man” and mischievously melodramatic nativity tale “Blood On The Snow” stand out, but inevitably it’s the covers that command the attention: a still, sepulchral “Silent Night,” a narcoleptic, drone-driven “White Christmas,” and a sleigh-bell-laden take on “In the Bleak Midwinter” wherein Bell’s meticulous, forensic enunciation is all the more laudable given that he is presumably simultaneously attempting to keep a straight face. From its sleeve shot of the pair posing inside the titular ornament in question, Snow Globe utterly redefines the concept of the queens’ Christmas message.
By Barry Walters on 09.24.14 in Reviews
Nearing Erasure's 30th anniversary, vocalist Andy Bell and keyboardist Vince Clarke needed a jolt of fresh inspiration for their 16th album. Having recorded a country diversion (2006's Union Street), a back-to-basics eff...
By Paul Connolly on 12.03.13 in Reviews
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By Garrett Kamps on 11.27.13 in Reviews
Conor Oberst understands that not all carols are cheery, which serves him well for this 2002 album, originally released as a download-only charity LP from Saddle Creek's website. Here, indie rock's one-time enfant terrib...
By Wondering Sound Staff on 11.12.13 in Collections
Looking for holiday music to appeal to everyone from grandma to your youngest cousin? Look no further than this batch of holiday crowd pleasers, featuring roasted chestnuts by everyone from Mary J. Blige to Richard Marx.