Favorite

Dave Gahan 

Paper Monsters (Mute/Reprise)

Remember when Depeche Mode was the king of concise synth-rock, safe for wedding receptions in the suburbs ("Personal Jesus") and in gothic batcaves ("Strangelove")?

Apparently, neither does Dave Gahan, whose first solo record after 22 years as Depeche Mode's vocalist seduces listeners with meandering minimalism. His chilly rushes of electronica, barely-there beats, and stern strings often sound like sonic wallpaper -- particularly on the ebb and flow of love songs "Hold On" and "Stay," and the quickened heartbeats on "I Need You." Like the similarly styled DM albums Exciter and Ultra, however, Monsters tends to become burdened by the grandiosity -- and plodding hooks -- of its extended electropop. In fact, Gahan sounds best when he unleashes down-and-dirty Dave and tarnishes this elegance with some brisk grit. "Bottle Living" is a bluesy honky-tonk down at the ex-addict corral, "Dirty Sticky Floors" wriggles with heavy-breathing electric guitar, and the Cure doppelgänger "Hidden Houses" packs some welcome oomph into its anguished choruses. Otherwise, this Monster is pretty tame.

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Calendar

Staff Pick Events

  • CIM/CWRU Joint Music Program @ Cleveland Museum of Art

    • First Wednesday of every month. Continues through May 3
  • DeRay Davis @ Improv Comedy Club & Restaurant

    • Thu., Dec. 8
  • Cleveland Jazz Orchestra: A CJO Christmas @ Hanna Theatre

    • Fri., Dec. 9

© 2016 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 241-7550
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.


Website powered by Foundation