It wouldn’t be entirely unfair to say Editors have lost their way a bit as of late. After all, who can remember a standout track from The Weight Of Your Love compared to the relentless fury of The Back Room? It’s almost as if that post-Joy Division stick with which they were being beaten had whittled down to a stub, leaving bare their flaws as a band and adding a question mark to both their legacy and longevity.
But far be it from Tom Smith and co not to learn from this. In Dream turns out to be the rebuild they needed, thrashing indie being replaced with maudlin indie that is more concerned with building mood than building a stadium-sized chorus. No Harm does just that, building an unhurried atmosphere that adds new depth to Smith’s aching call. In another strong but unexpected move, the band enlist Slowdive‘s Rachel Goswell for backing duties, suddenly adding a bit of light to the long shadow often cast by Smith’s deep tones. As she steps in for a main event on The Law, Editors don’t sound even remotely like themselves any more.
Which is where the key to the success of this album lies. The band’s old identity is shorn, but in the sense that they realise the sound they pursue is bigger than that. Like their recent albums, there might not be any obvious chart-bothering hooks (though Life Is A Fear comes close) but by the rousing seven-plus minute finale of Marching Orders, they become that rare UK indie act that sod the trappings of younger peers to achieve a cohesive and complete record. Until now, that’s something we only thought Editors would achieve, well, in dream.
In Dream by Editors can be ordered here.