Erasure have often been unfairly dismissed as a poor man's Pet Shop Boys - two gay blokes who produce catchy electro-pop with a flair for camp melodrama. It's a long time since Andy Bell and Vince Clarke had a secure foothold in the singles charts, however, and their latest offering seems unlikely to change that state of affairs. Nightbird isn't really a bad album - it's just listless, formulaic and, at times, downright boring. Bell's anguished croon is still quite affecting and there's a few decent tunes, but the lyrics are so bland and generic that there's really very little to grab the listener's attention. Have Erasure run out of inspiration, or is their 1980s, synthesiser-dominated sound just impossibly dated? Either way, this is a bit of a non-event.