Moving away from the synth-heavy sound of 2009's In This Light and on This Evening, Britain's the Editors return to the more epic, atmospheric guitar-based rock of their debut with 2013's The Weight of Your Love. However, this release is far from repetitive. Certainly, lead singer Tom Smith's baritone croon sounds as authoritative as ever, and the band has lost none of its languid '80s post-punk inclination. But at the same time, there is something less frenetic about the music here that speaks to broader artistic influences and a more mature level of songwriting. Produced by Jacquire King in Nashville, the album has a distinctly organic feel, as if it were recorded in an old theater. Adding to this tactile, less electronic sound is the choice to frame several of the songs in judicious swaths of string orchestration. The result works especially well on the album's handful of ballads, including "What Is This Thing Called Love" and "Honesty," helping them achieve a deeply moving, cinematic quality. The band also delves into several long-form, slow-burn rock epics that are definitely worth your attention, even if their sustained drama plays out at a more sinister pace. Songs like leadoff "The Weight" and "Sugar" are thoughtfully arranged; they take their time to fully engage your adoration. That said, adoration is exactly the emotion evoked by such deliciously addictive pop moments as the lead single, "A Ton of Love," which brings to mind the passionate, soulful rock of U2 and Echo & the Bunnymen. In fact, on "A Ton of Love," Smith chants the word "Desire" as if in direct homage to U2's 1988 single. A grandiose shout-out for sure, but ultimately, a fitting one.
AllMusic Review by Matt Collar