Tomorrow's World

Onge's Review

Back in the band's commercial peak, Andy and Vince were releasing albums at a rate of almost one a year. Things have slowed down somewhat since the turn of the century and it was after a four year hiatus, the longest in the band's history, that Tomorrow's World was released in October 2011. The previous year had seen the release of Andy's second solo album Non-Stop, which is a very dance floor heavy sounding project and some of that contemporary sound has been applied to Tomorrow's World too. This is in no small part down to producer Frankmusik, who wasn't even born when Erasure's first single hit the charts. The album gets off to a flyer with Be With You. From the opening whimsical notes, the song soon explodes into an extremely up-beat and infectious little tune and one that was a favourite for me after just one listen. The last few "when I come running" lines don't quite hit the spot and the song feels too short (leaving you wanting more) but it's still a quality track. As is the delightful Fill Us With Fire. Although the chorus isn't the strongest, the song is still very contagious and uplifting and the production is crisp and accomplished throughout. If you're a religious person, you might find one of the lines doesn't sit too well with you though.

There's a smart moment, in "Then I Go Twisting" when Bell sings, "Then I go insane, bored of this modern town/ Sick of this techno monophonic sound...". It's as if Erasure are saying to their less sophisticated successors: this is how you do it.

The Independent

The majestic What Will I Say When You're Gone? is next and is a haunting, emotive classic. It doesn't sound like any other Erasure song from their past and here Frankmusik's production really shines. There's quiet moments of beauty and then powerful trance-like synths over a drum and bass beat. A terrific song and definitely one of the best on the album. You've Got To Save Me Right Now follows, and this track was originally earmarked to be the first single from the album before the band had a change of heart. The arrangement in the verses feels a little lightweight and simple, but overall the song blossoms into a catchy and soulful track. This is assisted by the London Community Gospel Choir providing backing vocals, but they feel underused and if I hadn't known the song had a choir on it, I wouldn't have noticed from listening to it. The impact is nowhere near as profound as the use of choirs on other tracks such as So The Story Goes or Rock Me Gently. Perhaps lacking the kick the track has when performed live (it was debuted in the Total Pop! Tour before the album was released), it is still a fine, if short, album track. The album takes a new direction with A Whole Lotta Love Run Riot, which is a song about a female celebrity who goes off the rails. This is one of the tracks where Frankmusik's influence is especially apparent - this is a contemporary sounding dance track. The melody, especially in the chorus, is very catchy but some of the vocal and synth effects/echos are clichéd and sound like the sort of thing you'd expect on a Ministry Of Sound compilation from the 1990s. The song's conclusion is also a complete mess (with stuttering that sounds like there is dirt on your CD) and is very reminiscent of Frankmusik's Phantom Bride remix (in other words, not my cup of tea in the slightest).

The album's lead single When I Start To (Break It All Down) gets the album back on track. The arrangement is one of the strongest on the album, with pulsating strings and beautiful flute style synths in the verses/bridges before the powerful chorus and soaring middle-eight. Musically exceptionally polished, vocally the song isn't quite as strong. The falsetto chorus isn't as gratifying as it could be (Andy really feels he's working too hard to deliver, rather than his vocals being effortless) and the Melodyne (a similar effect to auto-tune) is grating. Despite these shortcomings, it is still a fine song. I Lose Myself is very much a traditional Erasure track that has been beefed up to sound completely at home with other electronic music from 2011. Vince's trademark magic is more apparent here than on some other tracks on the album, although Frankmusik's work is also very evident. The anthemic chorus and soaring melodies throughout make for another fine Erasure song.

Then I Go Twisting is another dancey track, with Andy's lyrics being about going crazy living in a dull town. The fine sinister opening bass line belies what's to come as the song descends into a generic dance song full of repetitive vocal effects. The are some pretty poor lyrics in this song too, with some rhyming couplets feeling especially clumsy. This is a song that is likely to split the fans in a similar way to Moon & The Sky - and you have probably ascertained what side of the fence I'm on. Not one of my favourites that's for sure. The regular single-CD edition of the album concludes with the ballad Just When I Thought It Was Ending. Andy's vocals are strong and the arrangement is sound, if a little watered down in places, and you'll be humming the melody in the chorus after you finished listening but overall it's a pleasant if unspectacular track.

Fans' Best/Worst Of

Top 3 Songs
  1. Be With You
  2. Fill Us With Fire
  3. When I Start To (Break It All Down)
Bottom 2 Songs
  1. Give Me Life
  2. What Will I Say When You're Gone?
Results taken from Quick Poll #63

Shot To The Heart is the album's tenth track. Initially an iTunes exclusive track, this song is not produced by Frankmusik and it feels somewhat incongruous as it doesn't fit with what's gone before, but it's still an agreeable, bouncy little tune. It has a b-side feel to the production, which sounds a little tinny, although the CD version of this track found on the Fill Us With Fire single does sound slightly better. Nice, but by no means essential. The deluxe double-CD edition of the album is also home to another song entitled Give Me Life. At a length of 5 minutes it's by far the longest song on the album and this is achieved by a lot of repetition. The arrangement is very intriguing though, from a Vangelis-esque opening to a stomping, industrial vibe into the chorus. Quite unlike any previous Erasure song, it's interesting and epic, although not the most melodic track you'll ever hear.

The double CD edition is also home to a collection of remixes and demos. Long-time Erasure producer Gareth Jones provides excellent extended remixes of both I Lose Myself and Fill Us With Fire and Frankmusik provides a subdued remix of When I Start To (Break It All Down) complete with plenty of vocal distortion. Four album tracks also see their demo versions included, with their working titles used: Clash (I Lose Myself) is pretty close to its completed version although the chorus sees Andy singing in a lower register; Big Song (Fill Us With Fire) likewise isn't vastly different from the final mix; Major 7th (Be With You) feels a little paltry but is still full of charm and Save Me (You've Got To Save Me Right Now) is more ethereal and less soulful than the finished article. These demos are interesting and show how the songs evolved, but unless you are a hardcore fan these tracks are unlikely to appeal a great deal.

Summary

Tomorrow's World is definitely a step forward in terms of sound and production from 2007's Light At The End Of The World and is home to some of the most unique Erasure tracks the band has ever recorded. Frankmusik's production on the whole is fresh and modern, however he is sometimes guilty of too many generic drum sounds and conventional trance-like synths. Andy's vocals are also molested on several tracks and whilst effects like Melodyne have been used stylistically rather than to correct bum notes, in most instances they are unwelcome. At just over 31 minutes, the standard edition of the album is also the band's shortest ever and the quality, whilst high in general, does dip on more than one occasion. But when Tomorrow's World gets it right (and it does so most of time) it does so brilliantly. Inventive and different, it's an album definitely worth checking out.

Fan Reviews

Below are some fan reviews written by visitors to this very site. Once you've read these, please feel free to use the form at the end of the page to write your own review.

  1. Be With You
    What a great opener i had goosebumps on first listen,lets face it after 4 years i was ready for it. Whether this is 2nd single material i don’t think so,its a great choice but there is another. Its a great track to get you back into the groove.
    Vince is evident throughout i can’t see where the ‘wheres Vince gone?’ has come from.

    Fill Us With Fire
    Being one of Andy’s fav tracks i can see this as single two. Its definately an album of ‘stompers’,of course with the deluxe version we get 3 versions to listen to,spoilt methinks.

    What Will I Say When Your Gone?
    Now for me this really is an oddity,not for any bad reason i might add. This is my personal fav track off the album which is unusual for me as really its a slower mid tempo track which is definately not me. But for me its that amazing drum track that hits in at 1.33 and seems to hit you between the eyes,its so different from anything ive heard before it just sounds so wrong yet sound so right. (i know it makes no sense)
    I just totally love this track.

    You’ve Got To Save Me Right Now
    The much derided ‘Save Me’ from the Total Pop Tour,i liked it then and this improves even more what with the addition of the gospel singers and that ‘heartbeat monitor’ sound running through it like a track clinging onto life itself.

    Whole Lotta Love Run Riot
    Riot in the title riot all the way through,this is pure Erasure-glitterball-tastic-G-A-Y pounding dance floor brilliance,an ode to the long lost Astoria club nights ….. oh how i miss the sticky floors!
    Frankmusik has done way above the norm on this drum track some great fills near the end with that ridiculous ending at 2.55 onwards and the ending is superb a few people have commented on it,but i love it,its mad with a capital M,its as if Vince was in the studio with Frankmusik and theres about to be a big bang and blow all the fuses in his synths so Vince runs round manically pulling the plugs on his synths.

    When I Start To (Break It All Down)
    I won’t waste time on this the past reviews have said it all,Erasure back at their poptastic best.

    I Lose Myself
    A great club sounding track with a driving bass and again a class drumtrack from FM. This is going to become a fantastic live favourite mark my words. I would seriously love to see this as a single in its own right. That middle 8 sound-is that really a trumpet?-get outta here,does finish rather abruptly though.

    Then I Go Twisting
    I think maybe the reason this album is so short is because lets face it we’re all getting older can we really keep this clubbing sound up? ……. of course we bloody well can! I bet this album can get Vince throwing shapes!
    Some great sounds and vocal effects in this one love it.

    Just When I Thought It Was All Over
    Another classic Erasure album closing track,i don’t know how they do it but every albums closing track always seems to be something just that little bit more special and always aiming at something much bigger and better to come. Vince excels with his sounds real classic Erasure sounds but this one has an epic soundscape to it,with a great vocal by Andy if any new band wants to know how to make a great song listen and learn instead of that crap in the charts this is how it should be done.

    10 out of 10
    Reviewed by Mark Pugh
    4 October 2011 11:56 am (GMT)
  2. Not one for writing reviews (like to add my wee 5 stars to iTunes for every Erasure track) i’ll keep this down to the 3 words that spring to mind. I’m on my ump-teenth listen, these are my views only so please don’t take offence anyone :-)

    Be With You
    Robot Unicorn-esque. 9/10

    Fill us with Fire
    Instant, ‘Big Song’, Soaring. 9/10

    What Will I Say When You’re Gone
    Hmmmm, Grower, Darlene?. 7/10

    You’ve Got To Save Me Right Now
    Beats, Live, Version. 7/10

    A Whole Lotta Love Run Riot
    Electric Blue-esque. 8/10

    WIST (BIAD)
    Pughie Says Poptastic. 9/10

    I Lose Myself
    Non-Stop overspill. 6/10

    Then I Go Twisting
    Weakest, Droll, Uninspiring. 3/10

    JWITIWE
    Very-Vincey-tastic. 7/10

    Shot to the Heart (iTunes exclusive)
    Ideal Innocents b-side. 9/10

    Overall
    Return to Form. 9/10

    1 weak out of the official 9 takes me back to Innocents (Sixty-Five Thousand anyone) and is only bettered by Chorus for me is there only 10/10.

    9 out of 10
    Reviewed by Allan Cooper, Stewarton, Scotland
    5 October 2011 12:31 am (GMT)
  3. Based on a grand total of three listens of the standard CD:
    Be With You – a few I Say-style twiddles at the start lead into a thumping good dance track, one of five out of the nine songs.
    Fill Us With Fire – follows a similar beat, maybe just a tad less catchy but still very good.
    What Will I Say When You’re Gone? – sounds like something somebody else has done, but I just can’t put my finger on it.
    You’ve Got To Save Me Right Now – slow but swaggering.
    A Whole Lotta Love Run Riot – uncompromisingly dancefloor, and contains a couple of lines in French, which is always classy.
    When I Start To (Break It All Down) – probably the closest Erasure get to doing a power ballad, so perfect for Radio 2.
    I Lose Myself – I love this, in places the tune sounds a bit like Don’t Go by Yazoo.
    Then I Go Twisting – floor-filler time again.
    Just When I Thought It Was Ending – well you didn’t honestly think an Erasure album wasn’t going to finish with a classy ballad, surely?

    8 out of 10
    Reviewed by Paul, UK
    5 October 2011 12:24 pm (GMT)
  4. When I heard that such a young producer, FrankMuzik was producing the much anticipated upcoming Erasure album, I got very worried. And rightfully so… all my worst nightmares came true and it is surprising that Vince Clarke supported the idea in the first place. The album sounds more like one of Andy Bell’s solo projects (Electric Blue, Non Stop) than anything Erasure. ‘Tomorrow’s World will not go down as a classic Erasure album.

    Be with you – probably the best track on the record and also the most ‘Erasure’ish sounding song of all. Sounds like it could have been well at home on the ‘I Say, I Say’ album… 9/10

    Fill us with fire – Another great song here, catchy melodies. Good 2′nd single release, IMHO… 8/10

    What will I say… – Didn’t enjoy this at all, until after a good couple of listens… but there is something really nice about this, that is Vince’s analogue synths instantly noticeable. 7/10

    You’ve got to save me – Sounds like something from the Blues Brothers, I can just picture it, lol – but it’s out of place. 5/10

    A Whole Lotta Love – Brilliant…. Not! Could have been the best track on the album, hadn’t F.M. screwed it up! Really… why did he have to distort Andy’s vocals and the music to such an effect? It never needed any of that and it really sounds crappy. As for the sudden ending, really spoils it! 4/10

    Break It All Down – There was a reason this was chosen as the 1′st single. Not that it is a great song at all, I’ve heard better, but then again, there aren’t that many radio friendly songs to chose from and this is one of the few. 6/10

    I Lose Myself – I like this a lot! That bouncing beat and baseline is welcoming, but for some reason it sounds like it belongs more on Andy’s Electric Blue album than anything. 9/10

    I go twisting – IMHO, the worst song on the record. I hated it from the first listen and still do. 3/10

    It was ending – A typical Erasure ballad as we can expect to end most of their albums. It’s a really nice hypnotic little tune, which will almost make you feel like zzzzzzzz! 6/10

    Overall, rather disappointing. Definitely not Erasure, but more like an Andy Bell solo project. I think that ‘Sunday Girl’ from the Light… album before this, was a definite step in the right direction – typically a bouncing 80′s feel good track and quite frankly, I was expecting more of that on this album, but there was nothing even close. I put it down mostly to the producer, so next time, hire someone like Stephen Hague, Dieter Bohlen or Luiz Rodrieguez,or even produce it yourself – VC.

    5 out of 10
    Reviewed by Clive, New York City
    6 October 2011 8:16 pm (GMT)
  5. Ive been a BIG fan since the 80′s. I’m sorry to say, but this new CD lacks. Its sounds like a Andy Bell solo CD. — I like one or 2 tracks. But that’s it. Very disappointed.

    2 out of 10
    Reviewed by mark – florida usa
    12 October 2011 3:09 pm (GMT)
  6. “Be with You”, “Fill Us with Fire” and “When I Start To (Break it All Down)” are great tracks, otherwise this album is mediocre.

    5 out of 10
    Reviewed by Michael, Amarillo, TX
    18 October 2011 5:45 pm (GMT)
  7. Have to say I had huge hopes for this album, pity, its not a bad album,just let down by a style of producton that bleeds much of Erasure’s lovely sound out in favour of hard beats and autotune. And I am a Frankmusik fan. Ah well Be with you and just when I thought it was ending are great tracks. The rest is a mixed bag of good tracks let down by a production style you will love or hate.

    6 out of 10
    Reviewed by Pmr31
    29 October 2011 8:32 am (GMT)
  8. Firstly, I have to make it clear that I own every Erasure release and I’m never usually disappointed. Even though ‘Nightbird’ was a let-down for me, and seemed like Erasure’s weakest collection of songs, it eventually got my appreciation. ‘Tomorrow’s World’ is not only the weakest group of songs from Erasure since that album but I fear it is the first Erasure album I actually don’t like! I can understand why it seemed such a good idea to involve a young, successful producer and aim at a dance-based market. It should have worked fantastically well, gaining the band new fans and fitting in better with the kind of music that fills the charts right now. Trouble is – the resulting album is soooo boring! The songs are bland uninteresting love songs with overblown titles (another Nightbird trait) and Frankmusik has failed spectacularly in his efforts to enrich them. What’s worse is this dull dance-dirge comes at the expense of losing the trademark Erasure sound of Vince Clark. I agree with other reviewers who liken it to an Andy Bell solo album. I urge Vince and Andy to look back at ‘Light At The End Of The World’ which was Erasure at the very top of their game and saw them delivering their magic once again. I hope that, if another future Erasure album follows this latest one, that they can find the spark they appear to have lost… Sorry guys, still love you!!

    3 out of 10
    Reviewed by Mel Pick, Leeds UK
    12 November 2011 4:26 pm (GMT)
  9. Firstly I have been an erasure fan for 25 years, Regarding Tomorrows World. When erasure fans buy an erasure album, they want to hear Vince & Andy, nothing against frankmusik he’s a highly talented artist who has a promising future, & I wish him the very best, but this album is more like Andy, frank & Vince ? & most of the tracks do not sound like erasure in my opinion & that of other fans I have spoke with say more or less the same thing, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it ? another disappointment with this album was the way it was packaged, a gatefold cardboard sleeve ? so when you take the cd in & out to play, you cannot help but scrape/scratch it ? over a short space of time, not to mention the wear and tear on the sleave edges ? I have seen cds packaged like this before but as promos which I also collect, but not with an official album release ? The Artwork is Simply Beautiful, Very erasure, 10/10 for the Artwork. Believe me I am not having a pop? I love Andy & Vince for the amazing music they have given us for almost 3 decades, its because I care about what erasure do, that I say this, I have tobe honest, I believe the direction they are taking with this latest material, is not a wise one.

    3 out of 10
    Reviewed by Lewis from paisley
    15 November 2011 12:46 pm (GMT)
  10. Be With You and Fill Us With Fire are superb tracks that fit the Erasure bill at any point during the previous 26 years. The rest (apart from WISTBIAD) are 12″ single b-side tracks (you know, the third track that was always just lumped together).

    I am HUGELY disappointed by this album, and I keep trying to listen to it thinking there’s something wrong with me….there isn’t, I just don’t like it (after track 2).

    Do me (and clearly several other fans from the above notes) a favour V & A, spend some time together developing songs of quality and get rid of the awful production style!!!

    4 out of 10
    Reviewed by Dave from Coventry
    10 December 2011 8:01 pm (GMT)
  11. Firstly, I am a huge Erasure fan and while I have to admit I didnt like Cowboy and found, like many erasure fans, that Loveboat was a dip in quality, I have loved most of what they have done and count Chorus, Nightbird, as amongst my favourite albums ever, plus I have worn out copies of the earlier albums on cassette and cd. I even loved the accoustic side step of union street and bought copies for friends. Anyway point made. However, I have to say that while tomorrows world is full of very good songs, the production stinks. I am a Frankmusic fan and enjoy his albums but something about the reliance on beats on this album coupled with vocal distortion and autotune etc has bled what has made erasure unique and lovely out of the songs. be with you , fill us with fire and just when i though it was ending are great erasure songs but the production of most of this album is a mis step in my opinion. Definitely an album that will divide fans, you will either love it or find the production very off putting

    5 out of 10
    Reviewed by Paraic Dublin
    25 January 2012 2:54 am (GMT)
  12. Firstly may i say that i DO indeed listen to Erasure everyday and have done for many a year. I couldn’t wait for this album to be released and ordered the double CD (of course) which promptly arrived from London in the post. I won’t dwell on every song just to say that the majority of them are SUPERB. The remixes on the two single releases are also Perfect and varied. The songs on the album are also varied, which is a good thing, something for every mood although Twisting needs a few listens. Fill Us With Fire is my fave track if i have to choose one. THUMBS UP from me….

    8 out of 10
    Reviewed by James Near İstanbul,Turkey
    10 February 2012 10:43 am (GMT)
  13. I wasn’t too fond of it at first as it clearly lacks Vince’s trademark sounds but over time I have grown quite fond of it because it is quite modern and interesting

    7 out of 10
    Reviewed by Thomas Janak. Birmingham/UK
    1 July 2012 12:38 am (GMT)
  14. Exactly what Mark from Florida said. Awful! But I still love them.

    1 out of 10
    Reviewed by Jamie from PA, USA
    1 July 2012 2:39 am (GMT)
  15. 3 good songs : “Fill us with Fire”, “When I Start to (Break it all Down)” and “Be With You”

    3 average songs / so-so : “I Lose Myself”, “Just When I Thougt it was Ending” and “Save Me”

    3 fillers : ..don’t remember their names… Anyway, it’s too many for a so short album.

    I dislike FrankMusik as a remixer. However, as a producer, I think he has nicely managed to modernize ERASURE’s sound without spoiling it, much like Neil Mc Lellan did on “Cowboy”.

    5 out of 10
    Reviewed by Erwann Le Garrec
    14 September 2012 11:39 am (GMT)
  16. Disappointing.

    5 out of 10
    Reviewed by Paul / Cork City, Ireland
    24 March 2013 5:59 pm (GMT)
  17. This album starts very well with the beautiful “Be With You” but doesn’t continue at this level, some are good and some less, but none really great.
    I don’t entirely dislike this work, it isn’t their worst album, I’m sure of this, but I think that the whole record it’s partially ruined by a sort of “overproduction” that doesn’t sounds good to me.

    5 out of 10
    Reviewed by Christian-Genoa,Italy
    5 May 2013 8:03 pm (GMT)
  18. i was a small child of the 90s when they were played on radio and mtv+ super channel and they were my heroes at that time

    now as a 25+ Year old man i bought all of their albums via amazon and im totally disappointed by this one.

    Andys voice is horrible and their imagination and good lyrics are gone.

    average middle aged songs on this album so annoying.

    1 out of 10
    Reviewed by Christianz Germany
    14 November 2013 9:34 pm (GMT)
  19. Just another great album with the word ‘world’ on its title. I like all its tracks, but, of course, some of them aren’t that great indeed. ‘Then I Go Twisting’ and ‘You’ve Got To Save Me Right Now’ would be included in this category, but they don’t sound awful to my ears at all. Well, V&A are so talented that even their weakest tracks are generally enjoyable. My fave single track is ‘When I Start To Break It All Down’ and I sincerely don’t understand why most fans seem to prefer ‘Be With You’ instead of that one. I think ‘Be With You’ is an almost perfect pop song, while ‘WISTBIAD’ is truly perfect. The third single, ‘Fill Us With Fire’ is another excellent one, and no, it doesn’t preach in favor of Atheism at all, since Andy is a notorious believer. As far as I know, he doesn’t have any religion, but he believes in God (well, but if he didn’t believe, it’s none of anyone’s business). That said, the “controversial” line “And i believe that god’s a waste of time” must be interpreted in the context of its whole lyrics. ‘I Lose Myself’ sounds a bit like New Order and I love New Order. Great lyrics, great chorus with great synth sounds! ‘A Whole Lotta Love Run Riot’ is another dancey moment of this album which is almost on the same level of ‘I Lose Myself’. Despite having the word ‘love’ on its title (something common on Erasure’s career), lyrically it’s an ironic (and inspired) criticism over “the-empty-world-of-celebrities”. Andy should write more lyrics like that. I love the lines in French language (Je ne suis pas model / Je ne suis pas une dame / Superil etais une fois J’etais un dieu / Je ne suis pas une force de la nature). As for the ballads of “Tomorrow’s World”, I sincerely wouldn’t include none of them among their best ones, but ‘What Will I Say When You’re Gone?’ and ‘Just When I Thought It Was Ending’ are quite enjoyable for sure.

    9 out of 10
    Reviewed by Chabacano
    15 December 2013 8:38 pm (GMT)
  20. This one is too much like a dance album for my taste. A bit like a Andy Bell soloalbum.

    2 out of 10
    Reviewed by Thomas Copenhagen
    17 December 2013 5:55 pm (GMT)
  21. I’m giving this an 8.

    Not as bad as people may think. Fans ask for an up tempo record, they get one, then moan that it is to up tempo, doh, you got what you want, embarrass it, you don’t all the albums to sound the same.

    ‘Be with you’ is the best track, that is some vocal Andy!

    8 out of 10
    Reviewed by steve
    21 February 2014 3:10 pm (GMT)
  22. As an Erasure fan and 3 years after the dust has settled, Tomorrows World for me is easily the best Erasure album for over 20 years their best since Chorus, great songs and great production by Frankmusik, most of the songs on Tomorrows World could have been released as singles, Be with you, Fill us with fire, Whole lotta love run riot, When I start to break it all Down, I lose myself and Just when I Thought it was ending, this hasn’t happend on an Erasure album since Chorus, All those fans slagging off Frankmusik for his production are idiots, Frankmusik gave the album freshness, ideas and it sounded modern, I hope for future Erasure albums they work with other young modern producers like Frankmusik to give their albums some spark and dont let the terrible Gareth Jones (Other People’s Songs, Light at The End of the World and Snowglobe) anywhere near another Erasure album again.

    9 out of 10
    Reviewed by burt
    6 April 2014 8:41 pm (GMT)

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