In Dream, the self-produced fifth studio album to come from Editors, is an ambitious attempt to create a collection of fresh, more soulful, ambient songs, but by and large fails to capture the imagination.
Opener ‘No Harm’ is a slow-burning number that falls short of being the hauntingly beautiful track that it aims to be, and instead the overly-synthesised sound, indecipherable lyrics and overly high-pitched vocals of the chorus makes for a little over five minutes of torturous listening.
Second track ‘Ocean of the Night’ is a marked improvement on ‘No Harm’, initially a mellow piano-led song which then builds into a crescendo of dance-pop heaven.
Elsewhere, the album is largely derivative, littered with unspectacular tunes devoid of their own identity. Decent efforts in their own right, but difficult to warm to when listening to over a collective 52 minutes.
‘Salvation’, replete with violins, makes a bright start, but disappears into a wall of sound during the chorus, while ‘Life is a Fear’ sounds more like the indie-synth glory of Editors of old.
The album closes with ‘Marching Orders’ and goes some way to masking the lack of quality before it.
For the most part, Smith is on form vocally, but musically the album falls short of pulling up any trees. The band seems to have run out of ideas – a painful truth, maybe, for those that remember the quality of their first two albums.