When Birmingham’s Editors broke through around a decade ago with debut The Back Room, they were kings of the dark neo-New Wave sound, and while follow-up The End Has a Start (QRO review) kept that up, 2009’s In This Light and On This Evening (QRO review) saw them make the synths too prominent and the band got away from what they did best. Unfortunately, The Weight of Your Love continues on their declining trend.
It should be noted that The Weight does not continue to give too much weight to synths – possibly the departure of guitarist/keyboardist Chris Urbanowicz contributed to that. But it does put too much weight on singer Tom Smith’s vocals (Urbanowicz’s departure may have had something to do with that as well), which can combine with underdone instrumentation for an overwrought, maudlin effect. The nadir of this is the painful ballad “What Is This Thing Called Love” (the title is about as unsubtle and uninteresting as the piece), along with the slow following “Honesty” and vocal plus strings subsequent “Nothing”.
Those tracks are The Weight’s low point, but even the relative high points just feel neither maudlin, but also not powerful enough. From opener “The Weight” to closer “Bird of Prey”, the album never really carries the listener like it means to, or as Editors once did.