Nightbird

Studio Album by released in 2005
Nightbird's tracklist:
No Doubt
Send Ringtone
Here I Go Impossible Again
Send Ringtone
Let's Take One More Rocket to the Moon
Send Ringtone
Breathe
Send Ringtone
I'll Be There
Send Ringtone
Because Our Love Is Real
Send Ringtone
Don't Say You Love Me
Send Ringtone
All This Time Still Falling Out of Love
Send Ringtone
I Broke It All in Two
Send Ringtone
Sweet Surrender
Send Ringtone
I Bet You're Mad at Me
Send Ringtone

Nightbird review

Erasure's journey has been a strong pop/dance laden venture. With the effortlessly endearing and ever-pleasing voice of Andy Bell and the melodic and production genius that is Vince Clark things could never really fail. They couldn't have picked a better time to celebrate their 20th anniversary; the '80s are so now. The last year has seen New Order-inspired Franz Ferdinand and The Killers ruling the charts as '80s stalwarts Morrissey and The Cure release career-boosting new albums. With Depeche Mode's disbanding still dubious, the timing seems ideal for an Erasure comeback. The act's last two albums of original material (Loveboat and Cowboy) were rather lackluster. Nightbird, conversely, is a spot-on hit. The songwriting is crisp and sharp, with Bell's tales of love – the bitter and the sweet – effortlessly cavorting with Clarke's fresh yet signature-sounding synth work.

This album arrived shortly after singer Andy Bell's revelation that he had been living with HIV for more than six years, suffering from debilitating pain. It's no wonder the music carries a more somber tone than the sugar-smacked synth-pop of '80s hits Chain of Love and Blue Savannah. But it's hardly a gloomy affair. Yes, there is a more ominous tone to lyrics. And yes, the choruses aren't quite as chaotic. But for the most part this is vintage Erasure, right down to the Casio-sounding keyboards that permeate tracks like Here I Go Impossible Again and the ABBA imbued cheek of Don't Say You Love Me. Erasure is clearly a band too engrossed by life to be knocked down by its mundane realities. The many standout tracks include All This Time Still Falling Out of Love, lead single Breathe, I'll Be There and Sweet Surrender. Perhaps Bell and Clarke needed to record an album of covers (Other People's Songs) to musically find themselves (again).

Nightbird moves the reformed duo much further into electronica than on previous outings. Clark's early work with Depeche Mode and subsequent projects has seen the mad professor at the synthesizer factory turn out some of the most interesting and evocative sounds. The title Nightbird refers to Bell's insomnia and nicely sums up the overall low-pulse, nocturnal feel of the album. The combination of Clarke's nifty synth wizardry and Bell's choir boy vocals make new songs worthy contenders in the duo's extensive portfolio of theatrical electro pop. Nightbird takes more than a couple listens to pay real dividends, but that Erasure are revitalized is evident first time through. Gone is the trying-too-hard surface-pop of Cowboy and Other People's Songs and back is the intimate, introspective, and great lyrical moments of the ballads scattered among the duo's best albums. Smart, moving, approachable, and well constructed, Nightbird is Erasure's mature masterpiece.