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Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
Dave Gahan

Rating: 6.5/10 ?

November 8, 2007
As the man who has been the voice to Martin Gore's brilliant melodies and lyrics for the past two decades, Depeche Mode front man Dave Gahan needs little introduction. A couple of years back, during a lengthy lull in the Depeche Mode machine, Gahan elected to venture into solo territory, a foray resulting in the very disappointing Paper Monsters. The problem with that album was that it seemed to head in the wrong direction at every turn; there were no hits to be found on it, it lived too much in the shadow of Depeche Mode, and it made obvious the notion that Dave Gahan is largely ineffective with out Martin Gore behind him.

Nonetheless, despite the failure of his first solo effort, Gahan decided to stay the course with his solo work. The second album released under his name is Hourglass, and it might just be the record to dispel the looming shadow of Gore hanging over Gahan's career. To put it simply, it's not a bad record.

Hourglass' first single, "Kingdom," is catchy as hell, and even though it still sounds a lot like Depeche Mode, it has it's own life. "Kingdom" makes it apparent that Gahan is making an effort to step away from the Depeche Mode sound, even if the results may not be what he wanted them to be. Elsewhere on the album, "A Little Lie" is a personal favorite, a song that again echoes Gahan's full band and could very well have been a track from the Songs of Faith and Devotion era, with Gahan's putting his voice to the test, giving the song a very raw touch that feels very refreshing.

For hardcore Depeche Mode fans - and they can border on rabid - Hourglass is a given alongside the band's discography, Martin Gore's Counterfeit work, and Alan Wilders Recoil releases. The rest of us will definitely hear "Kingdom" on the radio, and those not completely put off by Paper Monsters may be pleasantly surprised at the relative strength of Hourglass. But for the most part Dave Gahan has a lot of catching up to do after his lackluster solo debut, and Hourglass, while an improvement, will likely suffer from the continued fallout of Paper Monsters.

Reviewed by Daniel Svanberg
A contributing writer for LAS, Daniel Svanberg now lives in Boston, far far away from Sweden, where he once lived, although the weather is the same.

See other reviews by Daniel Svanberg



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