Monday, July 25, 2011


Erasure's self-titled album apparently didn't chart well, and the followup to that album, Cowboy, represents a return to the 3 minute radio-friendly danceable synthpop Erasure is known for.

I have listened to the opening track to this album no less than 100 times. For some reason it made its way onto every single mix tape I made from 1997 to 2001. The funny thing is that if you had asked me at the time whether or not "Rain" was my favorite song, I would have said that it was not and that I preferred Weezer's "Say it Ain't So." If mix tapes are an indication of truth, I would have been lying. That's why I'm glad nobody asked me that question. As a matter of fact, from 1996 to 2005 nobody took an interest in my interest in music. I was secretly amassing a large CD collection and a vast knowledge of musical history, which was completely useless to me until 2005-ish when I finally started meeting girls who were actually impressed that I knew anything about Ronnie James Dio's life history. Knowledge is power, kids. But I digress.

Cowboy is a very good Erasure album. Each and every song is finely crafted Erasure-style pop. I have never been able to put my finger on what makes this album different, however. Cowboy really marks the start of the modern age of Erasure. I Say I Say I Say had sonic textures than didn't appear in any of their earlier work, but the songs themselves fit nicely with the previous 4 albums. Cowboy almost sounds like an altogether different group than the one that made I Say I Say I Say (typing that album title is exactly as annoying as saying it).

Anyway, since I can't put my finger on what makes Cowboy different, I won't bore you with any attempts to wrap my brain around it. I'll do that on my own dang time. Let's just suffice it to say that Cowboy fits better with Loveboat and Nightbird than it does with Chorus and The Circus. I highly recommend Cowboy, even the somewhat comical cover of the Burt Bacharach tune "Magic Moments."

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