When Chris Urbanowicz left Birmingham band Editors due to differences in musical direction, the band were faced with the dilemma of moving forward both artistically and commercially. With their first real crisis in the band’s history hitting them hard, Tom Smith and co. had no choice but to use the heartache as a means for growth; after all destruction breeds creation. The evidence of a more mature sound drips from opening song ‘The Weight’ with its heavy bass-line, romanticised lyrics and Bond theme-esque strings. The tempo is slower than previous outings with Smithʼs voice taking centre stage more than ever before. ‘Sugar’ follows, an upbeat love song, with Smith claiming the protagonist is other-worldly- there’s sugar on your soul/you’re the light from another world. Only two songs in and already the album feels more operatic, epic and important than anything they have done before. Radio friendly single ‘A Ton of Love’ follows a more stripped back, classic Editors, guitars and lyrics song, a wise choice for a first single. Symphonic strings feature heavily on ‘What is this Thing called Love’ and teamed with high note vocals and lyrics questioning a loss of love, it proves to be a bare all arms, nostalgic love song. ‘Honesty’ is a slight album filler but leads into the truly sublime, again string heavy ‘Nothing’. The lyrics I got nothing left/ I got nothing left combined with soaring violins and Smithʼs howl, aptly captures the spirit of the album, a soul mourning the loss of love. Much has been made of ‘Formaldehyde’, a drum heavy, quick tempo tune. It is the first foot stamping, sing-along moment on the album which one suspects will come fully to life when played live.
‘Hyena’ continues the quicker tempo theme that the latter half of the album seems to be embodying, that is until ‘Two Hearted Spider’ slows things down yet again, starting out as a simple drum and guitar song before building slowly into an epic, passionate song. ‘The Phone Book’ is a country-music influenced, sweet song which bemoans the ending of something great and the sad acceptance that comes with it. If you were to imagine it played live you can see Tom being seated for the duration, lights dimmed. ‘Bird of Prey’ ends the album, again string heavy, again nostalgic and yet again pining. With ‘The Weight of Your love’ Editors have somehow gone back to the more basic guitar driven songs that we are used to from previous incarnations, whilst at the same time creating a sound that is much larger, sprawling and grandiose than ever before. There are some who might argue that it lacks punchy singles similar to ‘Papillon’ or ‘The Racing Rats’ and in a way they are right, but this is a different band for a different time. This is a band who have felt the pain inflicted by the end of a great relationship and have used that to create an album that is romantic, nostalgic and packs an emotional punch without veering into cliched, overly schmaltzy territory. The end result is truly brilliant.