If a band’s sophomore album is known to present the challenge of striking a balance between offering something new, while staying true to the sound that earned them a fan base, seemingly their third album must now be characterised by the ushering in of synthesisers. This strategy has been adopted most notably by The Killers and The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, with varying results. Now Editors have crawled out from the darkness of their basement in search of glitter balls and dancehalls. On closer inspection though, they haven’t.
Really it’s just business as usual with the slow building drums of the title track and gloom laden, baritone vocals smothering “Walk the Fleet Road”. Front man Tom Smith might like us to think he’s a tortured soul, but it’s hard to believe when he dates a chirpy Radio 1 DJ and names his children as if they were scented bath oils. All of which makes it difficult to buy into his anguished wailing on “Bricks and Mortar” and saps In This Light and on This Evening of the emotional intensity it desperately seeks to deliver. The most upbeat track, “Papillon”, is no better, struggling to deliver a tune worthy of such a great title. Admittedly, “Eat Raw Meat = Blood Drool” possesses a sense of menace absent elsewhere, but this is created by the discordant bleeps of malfunctioning computers powering down, rather than Smith’s lyricism. Glimmers of inspiration such as this mean that In This Light… isn’t totally forgettable, but neither is it the reinvention Editors needed it to be.