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Editors - In Dream

  by Richard Lewis

published: 8 / 10 / 2015

Editors - In Dream
Label: Play It Again Sam
Format: CD


Acclaimed UK indie rockers Editors return with fifth LP which sees them bring more of an electronic edge to their sound with mixed results

After ‘The Weight of Your Love’ (2013) resurrected their career in impressive style, UK indie rockers Editors return with ‘In Dream’ which brings a pronounced electronic edge to the band’s sound. Following the pendulum swing towards guitars on the previous LP, here it heads towards synths and programmed rhythms, somewhat understandable given the band’s biggest international hit, ‘Papillon’ races along on the hard crack of electronic drums and bubbling synth textures. With the singles-stuffed ‘The Weight of Your Love’ reminding people why they liked Editors in the first place, ‘In Dream’ sees the quintet becoming more daring. Creditably wanting to pursue their own path, the LP changes tack maybe a little too dramatically, with the portentous piano and synth-led arrangements becoming something of a trudge at points. Whereas the band’s previous albums have been put to tape by an impressive roll-call of producers (Jacknife Lee, Flood, Jacquire King), ‘In Dream’ is the first Editors LP to be produced entirely by the band. Although the surfaces of the songs remain as dazzling as ever, with ten tracks in fifty-one minutes several songs would have benefitted from an independent set of ears tightening up arrangements and trimming running times. Matters aren’t helped by the running order, with ponderous opener ‘No Harm’ setting the record off at a slow crawl instead of a sprint. Centred around a cascading synth motif, the opening moments make plain from the outset the LP's direction. ‘Ocean of Night', the second track, which is illuminated by the diaphanous backing vocals of Slowdive guitarist/singer Rachel Goswell (one of three appearances), however, restores balance. Political swipe ‘Forgiveness’ takes aim at (disastrous) US foreign policy of recent years and its various ‘interventions’ ("The line in the sand ain’t drawn for everyone/The flag in your hand don’t make you American"), hinging around the intriguing chorus "Forgiveness makes fools of all of us." Scored by synth-strings, ‘Salvation’ and ‘All the Kings’ call to mind the stately passion of early-era The Blue Nile while the cold post punk pop of ‘Life Is a Fear’ sounds like a potential 45 and live favourite. ‘The Law’, hissing along on an analogue drum pattern, works wonderfully, the Rachel Goswell sung chorus brightening the mood. While all the material present has the tangible feel of a band who have hit upon a rich new seam, crucially the set lacks the up-tempo bounce of ‘Formaldehyde’ from 'The Weight of Your Love' or early landmark ‘Blood’, where regardless of how dark the lyrics become, the surroundings maintain a light touch. Diving into early eighties pop ‘Our Love’, its falsetto vocal reminiscent of Bronski Beat hit ‘Smalltown Boy’, breaks midway for a repeated chorus of "don’t stop believing" which to its near-ubiquity over the past half decade inadvertently conjures up the cast of 'Glee' in full flight. A slightly self-conscious epic seemingly custom built to bring the band’s live set to a momentous climax ,‘Marching Orders’ appears last. A seven minute piece selected as the LP's lead single, the track is a rousing arena anthem of the kind that the Killers effortlessly produce several of per album. Achieving lift-off after a lengthy build up, the fade from the main track into a reflective coda provides a majestic album closer. With an abundance of new ideas to call upon, as a slow-burning ‘headphones’ album, ‘In Dream’ certainly has its moments, but an injection of the band’s sulphurous live energy and some variations in pace would certainly have been welcome.

Track Listing:-
1 No Harm
2 Ocean of Night
3 Forgiveness
4 Salvation
5 Life Is a Fear
6 The Law
7 Our Love
8 All the Kings
9 At All Cost
10 Marching Orders
11 Alternative: Forgiveness
12 Alternative: No Harm
13 Oh My World
14 Alternative: Our Love
15 Alternative: Life Is a Fear
16 Harm

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Interview (2013)
Editors - Interview
Editors bassist Russell Leetch talks to Richard Lewis about the band’s return with new album ‘The Weight of Your Love’, their first in four years which saw the group working with film composer Clint Mansell


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