Album Review: Errors – Have Some Faith In Magic

[Rock Action; 2012]

‘Pop’ is not a dirty word, despite what some of you may think. It has connotations of music that is flimsy, throwaway and easily-discarded; but on the flip side there is the notion that ‘pop’ music is the most immediate and accessible form of music there is. In that respect, then, the third album from Glasgow’s Errors is a ‘pop’ album. I can’t say I didn’t see it coming, however there has always been an element of immediacy about the group’s music. On 2010’s Come Down With Me, there were plenty of moments that hinted at the eventual shift in sound. Last year’s “Magna Encarta” single, too, was a clear statement of intent. Released in April of last year, back then it sounded like the best thing they had ever done, but, as it turns out, it was only the tip of the iceberg.

It shows up on Have Some Faith in Magic as the second song, and is very well-placed indeed. It helps to ease the listener into the album, and will be familiar to fans at this stage, but the context into which it’s placed helps it to flourish. It comes after “Tusk”; a song which will no doubt raise a number of eyebrows. Like all of the songs which follow it, it wears its pop credentials on its sleeve, packing an impressive amount of hooks into four-and-a-half minutes and showing that the band have moved away from post-electro into something else entirely. To call their third album ‘post-electro-pop’ would be only half-right; it’s immediate, yes, but there’s also so much more depth to it than one would expect.

On initial listens to this album, I was under the impression that it peaked only three songs in with “Blank Media,” an ideal future single; the one song on the album which encapsulates the spirit of Errors Mk. 3. It’s wonderfully uplifting: a technically accomplished pop song which displays how far they have come since the days of It’s Not Something But it is Like Whatever. Most bands would struggle to maintain momentum after a song like that, but that is one error that is not present on Have Some Faith in Magic. From there, it is straight into lead single “Pleasure Palaces.” Releasing a song like that as a single shows that the band are supremely confident; it’s in the ballpark of six-and-a-half-minutes, but manages not to outstay its welcome, piling on hooks and unshakeable melodies until it grinds to a halt.

As usual, there is an impressive amount of layers evident in each song on the album; even “Canon,” a two-minute interlude, has plenty of ideas stuffed into it. Six songs on Have Some Faith in Magic are more than five minutes long, but not once does it feel like it, because the album gets so much done. There’s also some use of vocals, but they never seem intrusive – the focus remains on what goes on around them, and in truth they are more like another instrument than anything else; for instance, on “Cloud Chamber” they actually sound as much like a synth as the actual synths! They serve their purpose, however, and show that Errors aren’t afraid to take risks. They have produced an impressive album, one which reveals as much on its tenth listen as on its first – I should know, I’m still discovering new elements even now. Is it immediate? Sure, more than anything else they’ve written so far. Is it poppy? You bet. Is there something magical about it? Absolutely.