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Have there ever been more perfectly soulful, bittersweet vocals than Andy Bell's disco diva melodies? Erasure was one of the first bands in the overwhelming wave of '80s Europop that was out of the closet and into the mainstream. After leaving Depeche Mode and Yaz, Vince Clarke somehow managed to create something even more dancefloor-driven than his previous work -- tapping into the overwhelmingly hypnotic repetitions of mid-1980s gay club music. But what took Erasure beyond the DJ picks was their jubilant synthesizer orchestras; synthetic vibrations so palpable they become eros-driven and organic, paired with Bell's vaulting, despairing voice. They continue to create something at once sparkling and aching, lush with the sounds of ecstatic hedonism never forgetting the heart's pain that too often accompanies an evening's lust or a lifetime of marginalized desires.
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