Top positive review
20 people found this helpful
on 4 August 2005
Now seems an ideal time to take a new look at this mighty album. How does it sound thirteen years on? At the time it came at the end of a run of three classic albums (with its two predecessors Music for the Masses and Violator).
With Violator Depeche Mode had taken the familiar electronics about as far as they could go. They had also gathered their biggest world wide audience so far. SOFAD represented a complete rethink of the DM ethos. From the opening I Feel You you are aware that this represented something new, the only real precusor to this album being Personal Jesus. But SOFAD took everything further, harder, richer. There are more guitars, there is a wider musical pallette. Whilst not quite as commercial as Violator, Martin Gore's songwriting peaked on this album. What we have here is a collection of ten classics. From the blues inflected I Feel You right through to the spiritual Higher Love. The single versions of Condemnation and In Your Room were good, but the album versions are better.
I would put this just ahead of Violator as my favourite DM album. It contains the best meeting of Gore's songwriting skills and Alan Wilder's arrangements. It takes a few plays to really sink in, but time has not blunted its greatness...