The Remnants of a UK Synth-periment Go Awry

Editors

In This Light and On This Evening

Kitchenware Records

The newest album from Brit-rockers Editors should serve as a poster child for the grim side of taking a risk, when ambition goes awry and experiments turn ugly. Perhaps seeking to deviate from their formulaic yet wildly successful UK chart-topping imitation of similarly dark alt-rock groups like Interpol and U2, In This Light and On This Evening jettisons glitzy guitar riffs for monotonous synthesizers scrubbed of the edgy pizzazz that characterized their earlier work.

Lead singer Tom Smith’s lyrics, delivered in a crystal-clear drone that only heightens its banality, achieves torturous levels of incoherence on nearly all nine interminable tracks. Long stretches of bland synth-bass noodles underline both the poor editing and conspicuous underuse of guitars that made Editors’ previous two albums a pleasurable, if rather predictable, listen. The soaring emotional power present in bygone Editors classics like “Smokers Outside The Hospital Doors” and “Munich” is lacking in wannabe anthems like “You Don’t Know Love” — a static and mechanical cut that personifies everything subpar about Evening. There are a handful of bright spots, like “Papillon” — Smith’s stand-and-deliver hook paired with slickly up-tempo drums and synthesizers to make it a standout track — but these flashes of brilliance are obscured under the rest of the album’s sludge. Editors tried to change the game with Evening, but all they come up with is 45 minutes of depressing gunk.

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