NPR logo

Tomorrow's World

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/143420904/143386427" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Erasure: Exhilarating Pop Through A Jaundiced Eye

Erasure: Exhilarating Pop Through A Jaundiced Eye

Tomorrow's World

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/143420904/143386427" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Erasure's "Then I Go Twisting" weds an irrepressible dance beat to self-immolating nihilism. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption Courtesy of the artist

Erasure's "Then I Go Twisting" weds an irrepressible dance beat to self-immolating nihilism.

Courtesy of the artist

Friday's Pick

Song: "Then I Go Twisting"

Artist: Erasure

CD: Tomorrow's World

Genre: Pop

In the crushing existential cry "Yer Blues," John Lennon once described his despair by moaning, "I feel so suicidal / I even hate my rock 'n' roll." For Lennon, a man who viewed Chuck Berry and Elvis Presley as the very reasons for being alive, this was an admission as cruel and nihilistic as a listener could imagine.

"Then I Go Twisting," from Erasure's great new album Tomorrow's World, echoes a similar kind of psychological self-immolation. Wedding an irrepressible dance beat to such sentiments as, "Bored of this modern town / Sick of this techno" and "Think I'm going schizo / I live in a disco," synth-pop veterans Andy Bell and Vince Clarke seem driven to psychosis just by playing the music they pioneered 25 years ago.

The irony of Erasure's seeming ambivalence is that "Then I Go Twisting" finds Bell and Clarke creating some of the most accessible and exciting dance-pop of their careers. Even with its jaundiced eye, Erasure appears incapable of producing less-than-exhilarating material. In a strange way, maybe the duo isn't that far from Lennon's old-time rock 'n' roll; seen through the right lens, "Then I Go Twisting" functions as a warped update to Chubby Checker's "The Twist."

We no longer support commenting on NPR.org stories, but you can find us every day on Facebook, Twitter, email, and many other platforms. Learn more or contact us.