THE TITLE OF the fourth song on the fourth album by Editors reminded me of the old gag, what is this thing called, love? For an album title, The Weight Of The Listening Experience would work better for me, but The Weight Of Your Love was probably going to pull in more punters. Clearly the bulk of the recipe to achieve that was to deliver a faux but not too terribly depressed Ian Curtis cardboard cutout to jerk his forearms around a lot over a background of Echo and the Bunnymen with a bit of money to spend.
This music is trying so hard to be serious early ‘80s darkwave droll that it’s tripping all over itself and missing the point. I could believe it if it was a sincere attempt, but it’s all a bit crashing-by-design with lots of lyrical hankies lying around to wipe the scratches and mop up the tears with. It comes across to me as contrived as One Direction doing a Bachelor of Business Science degree.
The sentimental lyrics let down this attempt at a cold early ‘80s atmosphere most of all. In the places where I was almost convinced of authenticity I was jilted back to reality by hackneyed phrases like ‘You’re like no one I know, You’re the light from another world’ and ‘I’ve been your lover for the last time’.
It’s as if their intended market was well-balanced teenagers living in a safety net – a far cry from the solitary 1980 bi-polar loner caressing a Joy Division album sleeve in the discovery that someone else understands. In that, there was hope. Isn’t that one facet of what music has always been about? Finding and relating to your human peers going through the same drudge as yourself and taking strength from it? Not so with Editors’ The Weight Of Your Love, which gives a long-lens out-of-focus view of a dark night of the soul and then saves you from it with a PC pat on the back; of course making sure they don’t touch you in an inappropriate place.
After all that, in the record’s defense, it has a lovely sound, obvious from the opening and most accomplished song that I do actually like, ‘The Weight’. It was pristinely recorded at Blackbird Studio in Nashville with producer Jacquire King (Tom Waits, Kings Of Leon). The mixes are clean and warm with depth, and the string section adds a welcome extra dimension that sounds like a million bucks. Though very nicely implemented, The Weight Of Your Love is too fan boy-ish and falls short on song substance, big time. PETER KEARNS
Sound = 3.5/5
Music = 2.5/5