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Sunday, March 18, 2007


ModMusic: Erasure, On The Road To Nashville

Erasure's recent foray into country music, On The Road To Nashville, is one of the more interesting releases in their two-decade career...although one destined to become a forgotten footnote, since their new album, Light at the End of the World, is set to be released in May. But before the prodigious legends of electronic dance music return to more familiar sounds, it's important to recognize this torch-and-twang live recording, which doubles as a greatest hits collection. Why? Because it's unprecedented, I think, to see an electronic act change their instrumentation so completely. Not since Everything But The Girl traded their lite-jazz sounds for drum-and-bass has a band so completely, and successfully, switched up their game.

Erasure are, of course, the grandfathers of electronic music, so it's thrilling to see them stray outside their comfort zone at this point in their career. On the Road to Nashville is packed with slide guitars, twangy backup singers, and an upright bass. The underlying musicality of their songs is foregrounded, while the trappings fall away. Sure, it's not always perfect...their anthemic "A Little Respect" rounds out a bit too much for my tastes. But sometimes, it's sheer bliss -- take a listen to "Stop!", where the delirious thrills of the song escalate into a dizzyingly pleasurable stomper. Not for everybody, sure, and not for every record collection. But for a true fan (like myself), it's pretty terrific.

Download: "A Little Respect (Live in Nashville)", Erasure
Download: "Stop! (Live in Nashville)", Erasure
Then Get: The Road To Nashville, Erasure



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