Electric Blueby Andy Bell
As delicious as it would be to hear the voice of Erasure covering the Icehouse chestnut that shares the name of his debut full-length, it's not to be. The minor disappointment deserves a sigh, but Electric Blue is a wonderful collection of chirpy, effervescent dancefloor motivation that's a perfect tonic for Erasure's melancholy and deeper than expected Nightbird. With mere months separating them, it's hard not to think about Nightbird while listening to Electric Blue. Nightbird was a cathartic release, Andy Bell coming to terms with a public, HIV-positive announcement. Electric Blue is about moving on by getting back to business -- dancefloor business, hip-shaking business, and insinuating lyrics over hooky music business. "Shake My Soul"'s "please stop your cheating" over a glorious B-52's meets neo-gospel meets Vince Clarke beat is just one great example of the latter on this lyric-filled album, but you can find Bell wryly twisting the knife with a killer quip just about anywhere you drop the laser. No disrespect whatsoever, but Clarke isn't missed as much as you'd think, perhaps because collaborators Manhattan Clique are either doing a fine impression of him or offering something of their own, mostly '80s-flavored. The guest appearances from Propaganda's Claudia Brucken and the Scissor Sisters' Jake Shears pump up the '80s factor, but this isn't a nostalgia affair as much as a meeting of like-minded synth pop lovers, and every vocal collaboration yields a remarkable highlight. Topping it off is the perfect kickoff single, "Crazy," which is a triumphant earworm equal to any Erasure single you care to mention. The album might be a song or two too long for everyone but the faithful, but ballads and more risky exercises in knob-twiddling temper the thumping tracks, and some modern-day advances in studio wizardry represent the 21st century just fine. Like "Love Oneself" says, "it's a pleasure to be here," and downright blissful if you're a fan.
- Release Date:
- Sanctuary Records
Performance CreditsAndy Bell Primary Artist,Vocals
Winston Rollins Brass
Claudia Brücken Vocals
Adrian Revell Brass
Filippo Gaetani Bass
Jake Shears Vocals
Martin Shaw Brass
Technical CreditsAndy Bell Composer,Producer
Rob Crane Art Direction
Phyllis Cohen Paintings
Manhattan Clique Producer,Audio Production
Michael Conn Producer,String Arrangements
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Andy Bell has stepped over and recorded a project with only his name. Having fronted Erasure for so many years has certainly influenced his synth, dance, disco sound. The last few Erasure efforts (Cowboy, Other People's Songs, Loveboat) have been a little disappointing. Erasure recaptured my attention with Nightbird. Andy Bell's solo disc seems to build on that success. His songs aren't too far removed from the songs on Nightbird, but are definitely one of a kind. The duets are particularly good. I highly recommed this if you are a fan of Erasure's "I Say I Say I Say", "Nightbird", and "Chorus" albums.
I thought this cd is one of Andy Bell's greatests works. Every song is awesome. I have every single cd made by Erasure and I loved it! I saw him perform Crazy live - it was truly a once in a lifetime experience.