Of course, none of the tracks here can outdo the glam bravado of the originals. Neither can they offer wholescale reinventions the way that, say, Paul Anka's big band cover of Nirvana did. And certainly, none of them are as wholeheartedly wonderful as the Linkin Park/Mike Shinoda remix of Enjoy The Silence. What almost all of them *can* do, however, is to provide a unique, quirky or otherwise worthwhile twist to the classics, which allow you to enjoy some of your favourite DM tracks in a new way.
Of course, each of the many Depeche tribute albums can make such a claim. However, whereas the likes of Music For The Masses was a fairly shambolic collection of interpolations that were about as successful as Hollywood's "reimaginings" of Willie Wonka and The Time Machine, Electro Goth Tribute To Depeche Mode can lay claim to being the most successful reworking of DM songs on the market.
Rather than cheap impersonations, carbon copy soundalikes or Anka-esque culture clashes, the tracks here simply take what worked about the original songs and amplify them through their own, individual sound systems. The result is that Depeche fans will not only find their ears mercifully unoffended (certainly a rarity with these tribute CDs), but they will find themselves enjoying these efforts on their own merits, as much as for their inspiration.
Shiny Toy Guns and Pseudocipher are particular successes in this regard, choosing to play on the songs' strengths rather than "improve" what simply cannot be. Talla 2XLC, by contrast, is not only the weakest track here, but a gleaming example of the damage tribute tracks can do - whereas Mike Shinoda took Enjoy The Silence to a new and bombastic level of rock greatness, here it is limply run through the Korg mixer and the result is an unfortunately dancified blasphemy. But it is certainly the exception to the rule, as everything else here is simply a joy.
A few repeat listens may be required to glean maximum enjoyment from much of the album, as it is indeed a bit of a system shock to hear such familiar anthems sounding so unfamiliar. If nothing else, the album is a sterling success in giving a contemporary vibe to some of the DM classics that, for many fans who joined the fray after (and therefore cannot so much appreciate the joy of) the Eighties heyday, might be sounding a little dated.
Classic Depeche Mode songs with rich, cutting-edge production. If that sounds like your bag, you won't be disappointed.