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The Violet Flame (Deluxe 2xCD)

4.7 out of 5 stars 70 customer reviews

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Audio CD, September 23, 2014
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Editorial Reviews

Erasure are back with their 16th studio album, The Violet Flame, an emotionally-charged electro-pop album with euphoric, synth-fuelled melodies that strike instantly into the heart. The theme of transformation and new beginnings is captured in the album s title, a literal spiritual term meaning the transformation of negative energy into positive energy, freedom and forgiveness. Erasure enlisted the production expertise of Richard X after their successful collaboration on Snow Globe, and the tracks were recorded between his London studio The Toyshop and by Clarke in his Brooklyn studio.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 23, 2014)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Mute
  • ASIN: B00M0ETRQM
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #67,912 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By J. P. Thompson on September 23, 2014
Format: Audio CD
The Violet Flame is not Erasure's best album(that continues to be I Say I Say I Say...if you don't have it buy it now as it is the best album ever by anyone!) but it's actually not a bad starting point if you're just now discovering my favorite band or perhaps ignored them over the past decade or (gasp!) longer and want to hear what you've been missing from this amazing duo.

The Violet Flame I can say is a filler-free album which can't be said for their last two albums of all-new material(the "World" albums both of which are good but some tracks don't cut it on each release). The Violet Flame also flows pretty well because of the lack of stinker tracks. It feels like a complete album.

The album's title, The Violet Flame, is apparently some term for vibrating to a higher frequency and eliminating bad karma/energy from your life. Learn something new every day. It is a good title for YOU ARE likely to be feeling better while you listen to this album and even after you click stop for the day.

Dead of Night: One of the darker songs on the album. It really is a necessary track to question where you are in life coming into this album and to let the bad s*** go and have your best self come forward to really enjoy the rest of the album you are about to hear. Introspective to a T but then that's how many Erasure songs go. 9/10.

Elevation: This song is all about elevating your love and yeah, you can't fight it. You ARE bound to love. A bit repetitive but by no means a bad song. When coupled with the Dead of Night it DOES make a good 1-2 punch. On it's own though it doesn't hold as much force. 8/10

Reason: This is some classic Erasure right here. This is the song you will be singing once the album is over.
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I have followed Erasure since the 80s, and along the way have seen those guys crank out a number of great albums, along with a few mis-steps along the way; I'm not one of those deaf fans who thinks their favorite artists can do no wrong. I was not a particularly huge fan last year’s effort, “Snow Globe,” and therefore my expectations were not high for “Violet Flame.” But every time I think maybe they are getting off track, they bounce back with an absolute home run; for example, the mid-2000s brought us “Light at the End of the World,” an astoundingly brilliant (pun intended) work. To be fair, I am drawn in by their more traditional “pop” sounds versus some of the more experimental (and artistic) tracks. From their perspective, I’m sure it is an incredibly difficult balance between giving the fans the sound they love but something new; it is impossible to make all of the demanding fans happy all of the time.

So after listening to the 2 CD “Violet Flame” album, I can happily proclaim the album a resounding success that provides that classic Erasure sound while giving us something new. I sincerely believe some of these songs are the best material they have produced, and are instant classics. A recent Erasure newsletter laughingly references a magazine review of the album that stated “This is the best album that the Pet Shop Boys never made.” High praise indeed!

The deluxe edition has two disks; the first has the new album tracks, and the second disk has live versions some of their classic tracks. I’m not sure if this was just a brilliant ploy to draw in their old-timer audience by baiting them with the classics, but regardless, I’m thrilled with both discs and can say that the deluxe edition is absolutely worth the extra expense.

On to the songs!
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I haven't been able to muster more than three stars for Erasure over the past decade. I don't know exactly what it is, but "The Violet Flame", "Tomorrow's World" and "Light At The End Of The World" have only had a handful of songs each that have been worthwhile. For me, the last Erasure album that was mostly good was 2005's "Nightbird". I also think that Erasure's greatest period of music making was 1989's "Wild!", 1991's "Chorus" (my personal favorite), 1994's "I Say I Say I Say" and 1995's "Erasure". They were in peak form then. Even 1997's "Cowboy" wasn't half bad. Yet, everything they've done, say, since 2000's "Loveboat" to now has been tarnished with a lack of consistently strong songs. That trend, unfortunately, has not ended with "The Violet Flame".

I've listened to it over and over. I even re-listened to "Tomorrow's World" and "Light At The End Of The World" again to make sure I am not dreaming. But, mediocrity is the name of the game now for Erasure. For example, on "The Violet Flame" the best songs here are "Dead Of Night", "Elevation", "Be The One" and "Under The Wave". The rest of the remaining six tracks are just fine, mind you, but they aren't very strong. I might allow "Sacred" or "Paradise" or "Reason" a possible fifth good placement, but I did not get jazzed about "The Violet Flame", even after repeated listening. It's fine and dandy, and that's all I can say about it. It doesn't excite.

I'd like Erasure to shake things up.
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