[6 January 2008]
PopMatters Associate Music Editor
Back in the old days, they used to call this a Maxi Single. Here you have a radio mix of Erasure’s latest single, “Storm in a Teacup”, along with a smattering of remixes, b-sides, and remixed b-sides. There are even a couple “Extended Mixes”. When was the last time you saw that term? Vince Clarke is back to making spunky, catchy, cheesy, slightly house-inspired synth pop, while Andy Bell still belts a good chorus. Bell’s voice has become more operatic, which isn’t necessarily for the better, but otherwise any of this material could have been released any time in the last 15 years. If you’re a fan of Erasure albums like Chorus, that’s good. “Storm in a Teacup”, is actually one of Erasure’s better ones of the last decade. It’s danceable, slightly dramatic, and a bit of a guilty pleasure. It’s even topical, addressing Bell’s alcoholic mother. The one brand new track, “Early Bird”, features a nearly unrecognizable Cyndi Lauper, and might just be the most soulful electro-diva pairing since Heaven 17’s “Temptation”. The rest is nothing surprising, but not exactly disappointing, either. Long live the Maxi Single!