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Editors, ‘An End Has a Start’ (Fader/ Epic)

The joke about this British gloom-rock quartet’s 2006 debut, The Back Room, was that it sounded like an edited version of Interpol’s Turn on the Bright Lights — with all of that band’s stylish post-punk signifiers, but none of the depth.

On An End Has a Start, Editors’ superior sophomore disc, booming baritone Tom Smith and his bandmates haven’t really developed a more singular sensibility: Each of these ten craftily sculpted tunes could be mistaken for the work of a supergroup called Interplay for Cutie. But Editors have acquired a sense of urgency and emotion they lacked on The Back Room. Previously, Smith’s fixation on doom felt a little perfunctory, as though a quick skim of the collected works of Ian Curtis had convinced him that death and disease were what pasty English guys were supposed to sing about. Here, he comes off like a real guy experiencing real life.

In the powerful opener, he describes the sad sight of “Smokers Outside the Hospital Doors” as post-Edge guitars twinkle sympathetically behind him; and in “Bones,” he makes a patently New Age chorus — “All you can hope for is the love you felt to equal the pain you’ve gone through” — seem profound, rather than something you’d find painted on the side of a van at Burning Man. Interpol still do this stuff better, but not by as wide a margin as before.

Now Hear This: Editors – “An End Has a Start” WINDOWS MEDIA

Now Watch This: Editors – “Smokers Outside the Hospital Doors” VIEW