Erasure: Chorus (Remastered 3CD Deluxe Edition)

Next year marks the 30th anniversary of Erasure’s fifth studio album, Chorus, but the good news is you don’t have wait until then to start celebrating and revisiting its magnificence as it has just been released in an exquisite newly remastered and expanded version. Vince Clarke and Andy Bell’s 1991 work of genius features hit singles: “Love to Hate You,” “Breath of Life,” “Am I Right?” and the sparkling title track.

This deluxe edition 3CD edition includes the original album, as well as a second disc of remixes, demo versions, U.S. mixes and six phenomenal B-Sides. A third disc contains live versions of the complete album from Erasure’s renowned Phantasmagorical Entertainment shows recorded in 1992 at the Apollo in Manchester, England.

Erasure’s Chorus was a #1 album in the UK upon its original release in 1991 and it has now been digitally remastered and sounds shiny and new all over again. Upon reflection, I find myself enjoying this album more than I did initially. The high-caliber B-Sides really complete the picture of the original album and hold up as well as anything included on the proper track list, especially the bouncy “Over the Rainbow,” the danceable “Waiting for Sex” and the downhearted but optimistic “Let It Flow.”

Produced by Martyn Phillips (Swing Out Sister, Lisa Stansfield) and mixed by Dave Bascombe (Tears For Fears, Depeche Mode), Chorus is an essential entry in Erasure’s sizable catalog and now this must-have deluxe edition makes it more vital than ever.

“Go ahead with your dreamin’ for what it’s worth/Or you’ll be stricken bound kickin’ up dirt…”

Tame Impala: ‘The Slow Rush’

Australian multi-instrumentalist Kevin Parker returns with his neo-psychedelic home-recording project, Tame Impala. The Slow Rush is Tame Impala’s first full-length since 2015’s ARIA award-winning and Grammy-nominated Currents, and it’s a wide-ranging master stroke of musical brilliance. Like the bulk of the one-man moniker’s previous projects, The Slow Rush was written, performed, and produced by Parker.

After a lengthy delay following what turned out to be a false start with an unexpected appearance on SNL, and two singles released in the spring of 2019, Kevin Parker has finally delivered his latest masterpiece and it’s well worth the agonizing wait. Equally ethereal and danceable, The Slow Rush sounds as if it could’ve been recorded in 1979, but newly discovered today and remixed using modern technology.

Led by previously previewed tracks “Lost in Yesterday,” “Posthumous Forgiveness” and the newly tweaked “Borderline” The Slow Rush sounds like a hypnotic time warp from which you don’t want to escape. The soul-infused “Instant Destiny,” the eargasmic acid house banger “Breathe Deeper” and the dreamlike “On Track” are but a few of the high points embedded within this ingeniously crafted record. Parker’s heady lyrics are immaculately intertwined within an auditory psychedelia that truly transports the listener to another plane.

The one and only disappointment to be found here is the conspicuous omission of the previously released single “Patience,” but with that said, if The Slow Rush had been a movie instead of an album, it would’ve deserved two big thumbs up. So, put on your best pair of headphones and turn the volume way up!

New Year, New Decade and New Sounds

Hello 2020 and hello new possibilities. The beginning of a new year always begins with high anticipation of what’s ahead, and for me the turning of the calendar always brings to mind the promise of new music from favorite artists.

Despite another lackluster Grammy Awards ceremony, the new decade began with a bang as we were treated to the surprise release of a new album by Eminem, the third set of the Pet Shop Boys’ Stuart Price trilogy, as well as a career-spanning 18-disc box set by Depeche Mode.

As for the rest of 2020, my ears are already anxiously awaiting new records from: Garbage, The Killers, Panic! at the Disco, plus the long-awaited new set from Tame Impala. Also, in the works are new offerings from Green Day and Weezer, which will be profligately supported by this summer’s unabashed Hella Mega Tour along with Fall Out Boy.

Other noteworthy releases in the musical pipeline for the new year include the much predicted sixth album from Lady Gaga, and also Coldplay’s follow-up to last year’s unexpected Everyday Life.

So, here’s to new songs, new albums, new artists and hopefully, the demise of auto-tune used as a disconcerting crutch.