The heavy synth and heavy deadpan vocals made me think that I had the wrong disc. While it could possibly be Editors, it certainly wasn’t what I described as Britrock Coldplay/Smiths meets Psychedelic Furs as I had of their last album, An End Has a Start. No, the 2009 album, In This Light and On This Evening, starts squarely in the Depeche Mode mode, an 80’s synth/industrial darkness. In fact, it is three-quarters into the opening title track before a more rocking urgency arrives. And it is all the way into track 2, “Bricks and Mortar,” before Tom Smith’s vocals return to his normal range, appropriately enough on the foreboding line, “There’s a bullet in your hands.”
Finally, on the third track, “Papillon,” we finally have the benefit of this industrial shift: a dance track. Although, like the album itself, it takes awhile for “Papillon” to wake up and then, as the lyric says, “It kicks like a sleep twitch.” The song also contains the metaphysical questioning line, “If there really was a God here/He’d have raised a hand by now.” Coupled with the line from “Bricks and Mortar” that says, “No one understands/The way you found your God,” they’re faith questions, entry points into the wonder, fear, and confusion surrounding belief in an invisible God.
“Papillon” is followed up by “You Don’t Know Love,” another moving dance track. It’ll take songs like this to keep live show rolling, while I assume the crowd will clamor for past songs even if the band has left that sound behind.