Erasure - Circus (+DVD)

Release Date: 04 July 2011
Artist: Erasure
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Having gotten familiar with each other and the public on Wonderland, Clarke and Bell aim their sights higher with its follow-up, a more distinct all-around album. Flood once again mans the production boards, helping bring out Clarke's greater number of individual touches and approaches to great effect. It can be the queasy synth whoosh on "Don't Dance," the chunky pseudo-guitar blasts on lead track and single "It Doesn't Have to Be," or the funhouse keyboards on the title song, a cautionary environmental tale, all testaments to Clarke's ever-strengthening pushback of synth-pop's presumed sound and cliches. Bell in turn is finding more to do with his voice, his breathy crooning more seductive and affecting, while his high-volume calls to musical arms generally avoid hyper-ear-piercing levels in favor of general appeal. Exceptions do crop up, admittedly "Sexuality," which has a slightly clumsy chorus to begin with, and Bell's histrionics don't help it. But when the two members are on, they're on in a big way, and the two major hit singles from The Circus are prime examples of Erasure in excelsis. "Victim of Love" has Bell showing off some great soul chops right from the start over an inspiring, charging melody, while "Sometimes" contains a strong dance beat and Clarke's synth/acoustic guitar mix underscoring Bell's call for love. Elsewhere, the band's social conscience makes itself known without sounding obvious, especially on "Hideaway." Detailing the coming-out of a young man to his family and his resultant need to leave home, it makes its point with drama but not histrionics, Bell's multi-tracked chorus at once uplifting and empathetic. ~ Ned Raggett
Release Date: 04 July 2011
Artist: Erasure

1. It Doesn't Have to Be
2. Hideaway
3. Don't Dance
4. If I Could
5. Sexuality
6. Victim of Love
7. Leave Me to Bleed
8. Sometimes
9. The Circus
10. Spiralling
11. In The Hall of the Mountain King
12. Sometimes (12'' mix/Remix)
13. It Doesn't Have to be (Boop Oopa Doo mix/Remix)
14. Sexuality (12" mix/Remix)
15. Sometimes (Shiver mix/Remix)
16. The Circus (Bareback Rider mix/Remix)
17. Who Needs Love (Like That Betty Boop mix/Remix)
18. It Doesn't Have to be (Cement mix/Remix)
19. The Soldier's Return (The Return Of The Radical Radcliffe mix/Remix)
20. Victim of Love (Vixen Vitesse mix/Remix)
21. If I Could (Japanese mix/Remix)
22. The Circus (Radio One session, 10th March 1987)
23. Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (Radio One session, 10th March 1987)
24. Spiralling (Radio One session, 10th March 1987)
25. Phantom Bride (Radio One session, 10th March 1987)
26. Sometimes (video)
27. It Doesn't Have to be (video)
28. Victim of Love (video)
29. The Circus (video)
30. Sometimes (Top Of The Pops, 20th Nov 1986)
31. It Doesn't Have to be (Top Of The Pops, 19th March 1987)
32. Victim of Love (Top Of The Pops, 5th June 1987)
33. The Circus (Top Of The Pops, 22nd Oct 1987)
34. Safety in Numbers (live at the Seaside)
35. Victim of Love (live at the Seaside)
36. It Doesn't Have to be (live at the Seaside)
37. Don't Dance (live at the Seaside)
38. Who Needs Love (Like That) (live at the Seaside)
39. Leave Me to Bleed (live at the Seaside)
40. If I Could (live at the Seaside)
41. Oh L'Amour (live at the Seaside)
42. The Circus (live at the Seaside)
43. Say What (live at the Seaside)
44. Sometimes (live at the Seaside)
45. Spiralling (live at the Seaside)
46. Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (live at the Seaside)

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Catalogue No: CDXSTUMM35