Music

Editors: In Dream Review

todayNovember 2, 2015

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By: Tre Simmons
Music Reviewer

Artist: Editors
Album: In Dream
Label: PIAS Recordings (www.pias.com/recordings)
Release Date: October 2, 2015
Website: (www.editorsofficial.com)
eDITORS iN dREAM ALBUM

With In Dream, Editors have finally reached what some would consider a new direction. Throughout their entire discography, they have channeled the likes of post-punk greats from the past and present, occasionally channeling up the morose drama of Joy Division, angular accessibility of Interpol, and the sorrowful hope of The National. Despite the sometimes great songs they’ve managed to conjure up, they’ve never been the best at what they do within their genre. From the annals of post-punk they’re nowhere near the top; if you only take into consideration bands of the post-punk revival beginning in the aughts, they’re mid-tier at best (the Yeah Yeah Yeahs in general, Interpol’s millennial tension and recent return to form with El Pintor, as well as Arctic Monkeys, who have eschewed the genre entirely in favor of R&B-influenced arid psychedelia are the current champions of these ‘00s bands). So where does this leave Editors, more than a decade into their career, with only a slight progression evident throughout all of their albums?

These kinds of answers are never clear, and for better or worse, they’ve managed to alter themselves enough to make In Dream one of their best records yet. However, this isn’t really saying much in the grand scheme of music; they still vibe off the ghost of post-punk’s past, this time with added synthesizer (an instrument already well established in the genre). Beginning with the opener “No Harm,” the comparisons to other bands already begin running rampant; lead singer Tom Smith’s baritone, as well as his flirtation with falsetto, bring to mind The National and Coldplay, respectively. The most obvious difference between Editors and their counterparts is that Editors veer faintly darker in sound and atmosphere. This subtle subversion of sound works in moments, especially when Smith’s lyrics read more as a mantra (“I’m a go-getter;” “I am your hope down the wire, so you can hold back the fire”) or when, for whatever reason, the pieces simply mesh. Songs like “Ocean of Night,” outright dramatic opus “Marching Orders,” and Rachel Goswell-assisted “The Law” manage to up the tension and mood beyond their previous songs. These moments, when the sonic elements combine to create something dynamic, leave a palpable sense of greatness in the paths they create.

For at least half of In Dream, however, Editors are content to rest on the laurels of their previous albums, and other bands who have done the heavy lifting in their genre before them. This is disappointing, to say the least. Their debut album, The Back Room, showed promise in every angular riff they launched outward, and there are many bands in post-punk today that show it’s a genre that can be continually rewarding (the attention-commanding Savages, Danish romantics Iceage, and outright spooky F Ingers all prove this to be true). Much like some of their early 2000s peers, Editors released their best album first and have been content to float in the ether ever since. While In Dream sees them moving beyond that initial spark of potential, they haven’t completely committed to anything that can be seen as innovative or, simply put, amazing. Post-punk bands flourish when highlighting the contrast between strain and catharsis in their musical worlds, and on In Dream, Editors remain one of the most anonymous bands currently running. Added synthesizer aside, hopefully they allow round 6 to be more satisfying than this.

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