Having continued course on I Say I Say I Say without adding much to its overall reputation, Erasure took a surprising turn on its self-titled album. With statements at the time indicating Clarke claimed inspiration from the complexity and reach of prog-rock keyboard experiments, the duo entered a less pop-friendly turn for this extensive record. Clarke definitely aims for a more spacy atmosphere throughout Erasure, assisted by sometime Orb compatriot Thomas Fehlmann. While the catchy hooks with which Clarke made his name remain, the arrangements show more grandiose reflections and less full-on dancefloor fun, more Jarre than Moroder. Songs are often much longer than the quick, punchy numbers the duo became known for, sometimes getting a bit lost along the way as a result. Bell, to his credit, matches Clarke's ambitions well, trying different vocal deliveries, especially with his trademark backing vocal overdubs -- "Rescue Me" being a great example of that. While the overall results don't lead to a fully spectacular record, it's certainly Erasure's most experimental, an indulgence that pays off in surprising ways. One of the more interesting features of the album is who helps out on it -- the London Community Gospel Choir takes a wonderful bow on two tracks, the quietly intoxicating lead single "Stay With Me" and the gentle shimmer of "Rock Me Gently." In one of the more unlikely guest appearances of the time, meanwhile, Mute labelmate Diamanda Galas delivers haunting solo turns on "Rock Me Gently" and "Angel." If not as harrowing as much of her own work, it does provide an interesting addition to a duo not known for its particularly dark vision of life.
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AllMusic Review by Ned Raggett