Written 4th July 2013:
Editors – The Weight of Your Love
The Band: Thom Smith (lead vocals\guitar), Justin Lockey (lead guitar), Elliott Williams (guitar), Russell Leetch (bass), Edward Lay (drums)
So today’s review sees the long-awaited return of Editors (@editorsofficial if you wish to follow them on Twitter) with this their much-anticipated 4th album ‘The Weight of Your Love’. The band arrived on the scene with their excellent brooding, yet fast-flowing guitar-based debut album ‘The Back Room’ back in 2005, with strong singles ‘Bullets’, ‘Munich’, ‘Blood’ and ‘All Sparks’ quickly helping the band gain national airplay, recognition and an army of fans. This was followed up by 2007’s effort ‘An End has a Start’ another strong follow-up for the band with more heavy-hitting singles further cementing the band’s reputation for no-nonsense, dark downbeat yet catchy guitar-rock. 2009’s ‘In This Light and On This Evening’ saw the band further themselves with a more synth-driven direction ambitiously blending their already familiar guitar sound which was met by a mixed-response but general consensus was another successful album for the band especially with standout single ‘Papillion’, which leads us on nicely to this week’s release.
The Weight of Your Love
1. The Weight2. Sugar
3. A Ton of Love
4. What is this thing called Love
9. Two Hearted Spider
10. The Phone Book11. Bird of Prey
Launching with swirling guitars and piano notes before a marching percussion ‘The Weight’ gets the album under way featuring Tom’s trademark isolated vocals “For a moment/I felt the weight of your love/It was lightening/It was lightening”; it’s a moody, atmospheric, deliberate track with its continued percussion being layered with sharp, angular guitar riffs and piano notes throughout and sets the overall tone for the record early on. ‘Sugar’ is again initially driven by distinct percussion with a tingling guitar riff at the heart of the track; it’s another very atmospheric track with a bittersweet vibe about it. ‘A Ton of Love’ was the first we had previously heard from this record as it was the band’s comeback single. It’s a distinctly big Editors guitar anthem fast-paced and up-beat with Tom belting out the repeated “De-sire” midway through the track with great passion and urgency and sounding great.
‘What is this thing called Love’ as the track title suggests is a soft-ballad, as Tom’s vocals, backed with gentle piano notes and later in the track violins, are pitched much higher on this track than previously heard so far on the album. It’s a soft, sweet track and clearly emotional “What is this thing called love that you speak?/We’re out of it/We’re out of it”. Fifth track ‘Honesty’ continues the gentle slow pace of the album at this point, with a steady rhythm of guitar and percussion and gentle touches of soothing synths adding layers to it while featuring another big chorus “Does the honesty deceive?/Trying to find a way to leave this party/Take it out on me/Cause all the honesty/Shut this place down”. ‘Nothing’ is another ballad, this time much more minimal simply featuring Tom’s vocals with backing synths and string sections it’s another deeply emotional track and continues to build as the track progresses.
‘Formaldehyde’ picks up the pace again midway through the record, using the toxic gas chemical as an analogy to a relationship, backed with catchy tingling guitar riffs and a one-two chorus between Tom’s lead and backing vocals “Formaldehyde/Never let you go/Formaldehyde/’til the end of time”. Meanwhile ‘Hyena’ features a nice opening guitar riff at its heart progressing the track along nicely, very much capturing the unmistakably familiar sound that Editors are well known for and overall it’s quite an instant type of track. ‘Two Hearted Spider’ slows the pace of the record once more, nudged along with a gentle bass-line and guitar riff with real focus on Tom’s vocals “Every move you make/Breaks me/Breaks me/Every smile you fake/Breaks Me/Breaks Me”, it’s another deep, thought-provoking track, a common theme found throughout this record.
Featuring a driving acoustic rhythm, penultimate track ‘The Phone Book’ again shows a much more stripped-down side of Editors with some focus on slide-guitar and has a bit of a Western feeling at the heart of it with the main rhythm of the track, while closing track ‘Bird of Prey’ is a bit more up-tempo again being driven by percussion throughout and another picked guitar riff and featuring backing synths and violins; it’s another soft, gentle track with a focus on the atmosphere it creates rather than being a hard-hitting guitar anthem.
So overall this has been an interesting record to review from Editors. This album has a steady blend of more familiar, fast-paced guitar tracks that we have come to expect from the band in the past particularly on the tracks ‘A Ton of Love’ and ‘Hyena’ but with this record there seems to be much more of a focus on the soft, emotional thought-provoking tracks the band have also sometimes hinted on with previous records; see ‘What is this thing called Love’, ‘Honesty’ and ‘Two Hearted Spider’ for examples of this. Therefore, when it comes to listening to ‘The Weight of Your Love’ I think fans of Editors who are already quite familiar with their darker, deep sound may take to this album quite quickly, while to the more casual listener may find it may take a few more listens to fully appreciate it as it’s not as instant as earlier albums ‘The Back Room’ or ‘An End has a Start’. So therefore I’m going to give this one 7 Two Hearted Spiders out of 10, as overall this record is somewhat of a mixed bag and for me personally it doesn’t quite reach the highs of ‘The Back Room’ or ‘An End has a Start’ but if you do prefer the emotional, softer-side of Editors then you may find quite a lot to like with this record.
Track 1 ‘The Weight’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mBaGm4e2oao
Track 3 ‘A Ton of Love’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jQQ2gTkV-GM