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Album review: Editors' 'In This Light and on This Evening'

January 18, 2010 |  7:34 pm
Editors_240 After emerging in 2005 as one of the lesser lights of the post-punk revival that also gave us the Killers and Interpol, these blog-buzzed British gloom merchants revealed some impressive artistic growth on 2007's "An End Has a Start," which added human heart and guitar-band muscle to frontman Tom Smith's tales of existential woe.

Unfortunately, the inspiration appears to have been short-lived: Editors' ponderously titled third album is a disappointing reversion to form, with listless melodies, gloopy, synth-heavy arrangements and corny lyrics that might pass for sly goth-culture satire if Smith didn't deliver them with such self-serious bravado.

There are traces of the better effort that might have been. "The Boxer," about a fighter facing obsolescence, has a kind of ruined art-rock grandeur. And "You Don't Know Love" rides a sleekly propulsive bass groove that calls to mind wildly superior records by New Order -- never a bad thing.

Mostly, though, "In This Light and on This Evening" makes you wonder what Editors did with all that potential. Has their second beginning already ended?

-- Mikael Wood

"In This Light and on This Evening"
One and a half stars (Out of four)