Originally released internationally in 2000, three years after their Maverick issued album Cowboy, Erasure's ninth collection of original pop songs was co-produced with Flood, Erasure's original producer. Mute. 2003.
Along with the Pet Shop Boys
, Erasure long-ago cornered the market in pure synth pop. While credited as early exponents of house, techno and club culture, both duos have at their core an unashamed love of the catchy hooks and anthemic choruses of pop, but their latter day releases have featured an added component: subtly. For Erasure--considering the hands in the air exuberance of hits "Stop!," "A Little Respect," and the sequins and glitter of their Abba tribute EP Abba-esque
's seductive tunes and sensitive words are almost excessively subtle. Despite the pounding beats of "Perchance To Dream," the sci-fi electronica of "Here In My Heart," and the album's title, their ninth studio album isn't about the joy of love, but the pain that goes with it and indulges in melancholic melodies and a sense of longing that takes the pair straight back to those early bitter sweet hits "Oh L'Amour," "Sometimes," and "Victim Of Love." Sequin-free and relatively sedate, Loveboat
, for all its subtleties, still has its share of addictive tunes--"Aliens" and "Freedom" prove that they've lost none of their penchant for pop and can still write a catchy classic when they put their minds to it. --Dan Gennoe