Erasure, Snow Globe

Ian Gittins

By Ian Gittins

on 11.11.13 in Reviews

Snow Globe

Christmas is a festival of camp, and it just found a new soundtrack

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.