Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large

Album review – Erasure: Snow Globe

The British electro-pop duo present electronic reworkings of classic seasonal songs and traditional winter standards.

Erasure Snow Globe (Mute)

*** ⋆⋆⋆

Gamely rebooting an old-fashioned and deeply uncool format, the veteran British electro-pop duo of Vince Clarke and Andy Bell attempt to reinvent the festive album with Snow Globe. It features electronic reworkings of classic seasonal songs and traditional winter standards alongside five original tracks. The selection of cover versions is admirably broad, notably a sparkly techno treatment of the 16th- century French composition Gaudete, with lyrics entirely in Latin. But even the more obvious choices are generally clothed in refined and thoughtful new arrangements. Vintage Hollywood standards such as Irving Berlin’s White Christmas and Mel Tormé’s The Christmas Song have been digitally updated, the former into a twinkly tapestry of ambient ripples, the latter an enjoyably clunky collage of retro computer-game bleeps. Clarke’s treatment of the solemn old-school carols Silent Night and In the Bleak Midwinter also stand out, all choral trills and tinselly shimmers with minimal percussion. Erasure’s original new songs inevitably pale by comparison, but the best is the doomy electro waltz Blood On the Snow, which foregrounds the album’s subtle undertow of wintry horror and darkness. Not quite a radical reinvention, but certainly a smart repackaging.


Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 Hajer Almosleh, the winner of the last year's short story competition, at her home in Dubai. Duncan Chard for the National

Get involved with The National’s short-story competition

Writers have two weeks to craft a winning submission, under the title and theme "The Turning Point".

 It is believed that the desert-like planet of Tatooine is being recreated for Star Wars: Episode VII. Could that be where filming in the UAE comes in? Courtesy Lucasfilms

Could the force be with us? The search for Star Wars truth

On the hunt for the Star Wars: Episode VII set, which a growing number of people are sure is in Abu Dhabi, but no one can seem to find.

 With an estimated 18,000 comic and film fans having already paid a visit to this weekend’s Middle East Film and Comic Con, organisers are hopeful they will have surpassed last year total, of 21,000, by its close. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National

In pictures: Middle East Film and Comic Con in Dubai

Dubai's World Trade Center was awash with people visiting this weekend’s Middle East Film and Comic Con. Here's some of our best pictures.

 Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak, the Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development, presents Quincy Jones with the Abu Dhabi Festival Award as the Admaf founder Hoda Al Khamis-Kanoo applauds. Courtesy Abu Dhabi Festival.

A candid talk with Quincy Jones about the UAE, Lil Wayne and the Abu Dhabi Festival award

The Abu Dhabi Festival honoree Quincy Jones discusses his legendary career as a music producer, the return of Dubai Music Week and why he can’t handle the rapper Lil Wayne.

 Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Prince George of Cambridge arrive at Wellington Military Terminal on an RNZAF 757 from Sydney on April 7, 2014 in Wellington, New Zealand. Chris Jackson / Getty Images

In pictures: Will and Kate visit Australia and New Zealand

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Prince George of Cambridge are on a tour Down Under for three weeks.

 A protester gives a victory sign during clashes near Tahrir Square in Cairo in November 2011. Goran Tomasevic / Reuters

Street life: humanity’s future depends on ability to negotiate and sustain public space

Negotiating our ever more crowded cities and maintaining vibrant public spaces are among the major challenges facing humanity in the coming decades.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National