Maybe frustrated by the absence of founding guitarist, Chris Urbanowicz, maybe wrought with the ramifications of selling their souls to the arena Gods with Jacquire King (Kings of Leon, Of Monsters and Men) on production knobs, Britain’s answer to Interpol have jumped so far over the shark with their fourth record here, the Fonz could have penned a more stirring and clever relationship with love. From “Poison darts” thrown at “hearts” to a “lump of meat with a heartbeat” lead singer and lyricist Tom Smith’s well runneth dry, it seems. There are some redeeming tracks and turn-of-phrases on The Weight of Your Love, but they are spacious deviations from the menace of acerbic singles of “Blood” [LISTEN] and “Munich” [LISTEN] glory days, and straight from the horse’s mouth, sometimes “odd and baffling.” Here’s to hoping the Editors take a long hard look at their name and chase a better articulation of the emotion that binds us all on LP5.

The Weight

The weight of the insurmountable pressure to cut a first track that is so unconvincingly menacing the thought of ‘love’ entering the scene makes one want to stab one’s speakers with a fork. “Lump of meat with a heartbeat,” indeed, Smith. Oh the irony of a band called Editors: [LISTEN]

"The Weight"

Sugar

Done trying to be a bro’s Depeche Mode on quite possibly the worst lead track of 2013, Smith and the go-arena-or-go-home edition of the band channels the bombast of compatriots Muse and Def Leppard‘s tittie-jiggling legacy with a cheap gothic pick-up line: [LISTEN]

"Sugar"

A Ton of Love

Woe is Smith, making relationships with God in the name of Bono now, howling like a leather-jacket puppet on a rooftop chasing “desire.” All “love” and no “trust” makes Smith a tired, tired cliche: [LISTEN]

"A Ton of Love"

What is This Thing Called Love

Dudes, seriously, where the hell is the focus of the Mercury Prize-winning threat of yore? Four tracks in and the transparency of your stadium-pleasing panache is so crystal clear Smith’s knob-greased falsetto could break windows. You just had “A Ton of Love” and now you’re “out of it?”

"What is This Thing Called Love"

Honesty

Though equally knob-greased and string-lulled as its overwrought pre-climax ‘falling action’ predecessor, “What is This Thing Called Love,” Smith for once on the Editors’ fourth record doesn’t sound like a cerebrally-damaged boxer trying to articulate his thoughts on love, spinning a legit simile:

"Honesty"

Nothing

Ah, okay, we’re earning some heartache now, these strings are workhorsin’, Smith, you’ve found conviction, brother – imagery’s attempting to get tactile, the women, the hands are over their hearts, the “poison dart” is lame but you end it right with the sweet promise of “nothing:” [LISTEN]

"Nothing"

Formaldehyde

Mounting a climax, a series of string-ballads are ditched to offer up a crisp “Got My Mind Set on You” beat as Smith pushes his luck with a story arch with substance, continuing a misfit, misused conversation about love with an allegory laced around a chemical that preserves dead bodies:

"Formaldehyde"

Hyena

At least Smith’s done throwing “poison darts” at hearts. The guitar work chases that Interpol jab of a younger, hungrier band, while Smith’s turn-of-phrases are still one-dimensional, but somehow the image of a laughing hyena validates it:

"Hyena"

Two Hearted Spider

Welcome to The Weight of Your Love‘s climax, in which we see a naive protagonist follow a militant thump from Ed Lay back Smith on a journey towards the center of catharsis. With Jacquire King shooting for the production moon, this could be a National b-side, mission accomplished, boys:

"Two Hearted Spider"

The Phone Book

And now we arrive at the ‘falling action’ proper, rhythm dressed acoustic to led a meandering noodle hook look West, Smith brooding his BOSS best, for the second time on LP4 showing a sense of damn conviction and an iceberg approach the way of unconditional love, revealing just the right bits:

"The Phone Book"

Bird of Prey

Why add an 11th track that accomplishes less than the 10th? Cartoon strokes of pain, replete with a holy trinity of trite – rain, youth and religion. Sure, it’s got mountainous Fellini space, and angelic backup vocals, but it’s a spoon-fed last breath that makes this whole journey near meaningless:

"Bird of Prey"