Erasure – The Circus (1987/2014)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 01:55:38 minutes | 817 MB | Genre: Pop Rock
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz | Front Cover | © Mute, a BMG Company
The Circus is the second studio album by Erasure, originally released in March 1987. It was Erasure’s second consecutive album to be produced by Flood. “The Circus” became the duo’s breakthrough in the UK, spawning four hit singles and reaching number six. It was an immediate success thanks to the number two UK placing of the first single “Sometimes”, six months earlier. The album remains Erasure’s longest-running on the UK charts.
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.
01 – It Doesn’t Have To Be
02 – Hideaway
03 – Don’t Dance
04 – If I Could
05 – Sexuality
06 – Victim Of Love
07 – Leave Me To Bleed
08 – Sometimes
09 – The Circus
10 – Spiralling
All tracks written by Andy Bell and Vince Clarke.