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Classic Album Reviews: Dave Gahan | Paper Monsters / Martin L. Gore | Counterfeit2

Depeche Mode's singer & keyboardist change their tunes on these solo releases.

This came out in 2003 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


If a change really is as good as a rest, Depeche Mode’s Dave Gahan and Martin L. Gore should be feeling quite refreshed. And not just because they finally got around to making their first full-length solo discs.

More importantly, perhaps — and certainly more intriguingly — it’s because both discs also find their creators assuming different roles and responsibilities from their day jobs. Keyboardist Gore, for instance, has been DM’s songwriter and driving force for decades — but on Counterfeit2, he doesn’t pen a single one of the 11 tunes. Instead, as on his 1989 Counterfeit EP, Gore spends his time covering oldies like David Essex’s Stardust, John Lennon’s Oh My Love, Iggy Pop and David Bowie’s Tiny Girls and Lou Reed’s Candy Says, recasting them into the Depeche mold with plenty of mournful, shadowy synth-bloop. Which makes for an interesting listen, if not an especially revealing one.

For soul-baring honestly, look instead to Gahan’s engaging Paper Monsters. For his first foray into full-fledged songwriting, the longtime DM singer and ex-junkie looks within and then shoots from the hip, drawing on his sordid past for dark electro-rockers and languid techno-ballads like Dirty Sticky Floor, Bottle Living and Black and Blue Again. “Ask me what I want,” he croons in his serpentine baritone. “That’s easy — it’s just more.” You’ll know how he feels.