Editors

Violence

Play It Again Sam

Mar 09, 2018 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


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Editors have always demonstrated a passion for slick New Wave synth-rock, albeit a little dreamier and a little darker than the type that dominated the airwaves in the '80s. And Violence is no different. But contrary to what the gloomy song titles suggest, the band's sixth record is actually a kinder and gentler Editors album, musically speaking.

One could argue that Editors' previous release, 2015's In Dream, was the band's zenith. Distilling all that was good from previous LPs; more mature songwriting, stylistic synth melodies, icy atmospherical textures, and cool bass grooves wrapped in cinematic production with Tom Smith's moody warble and angular guitar riffs; all delivered in one tight package.

Listening to Violence gives credence to this argument. While there are numerous remnants of what makes Editors' music so appealing, the music is decidedly friendlier and seems custom made for a broader appeal. Even the songwriting seems to have taken a step backwards. The band's focus has shifted away from making unique and dramatic post-punk and instead features straightforward conceptions culled from recycled melodies heard on earlier albums.

Thankfully there are exceptions. "Hallelujah (So Low)," "Darkness At the Door," and the title track, "Violence," are all enticing and catchy and showcase Editors' ability to create seductive pop songs out of dynamic, textural sound tapestries with cool driving beats and slithering synth lines. The second half of "Counting Spooks" also falls into this category after a somewhat overly bombastic and lengthy intro. And it wouldn't be an Editors album without a slow and contemplative track to highlight singer Smith's distinctive baritone. "No Sound But the Wind" fits that bill on Violence.

While the shift to a kinder and gentler sound doesn't live up to the spectacular music of past efforts, you can't fault the band for trying something new to broaden their appeal. And even with a few shortcomings, Violence still has enough alluring music to make it a worthwhile endeavor. (www.editorsofficial.com)

Author rating: 6/10

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