4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 12 May 2003
Martin Gore's second solo effort, definitely needs several listens to get through it (as well as the first one, I may add). Not only the songs selection, but the arrangements are dark, very Counterfeit Ep's "Smile In The Crowd" like. But once it gets through you, you will enjoy it a lot - but give it the time it needs to do so. It's weird to heard Martin's voice surrounded by almost trip-hoppy ambience, but it certainly is refreshing. I wouldn't recommend this album for the casual listener, but Depeche Mode fans (as me), would be thrilled listening the mastermind behind, having fun at the studio arranging some of his favourite songs (I suppose they are so) into a more synth-trip-hop (and, obviously, Depeche Modish) driven form. Highly recommendable for those DM fans who weren't satisfied with Exciter. Can't wait to hear David Gahan's Paper Monsters!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 29 January 2010
This is an album of two halves, one light and fluffy as Angel Delight, a cloudlike collection of songs. The other darker, dancier and dirtier than our cul-de-sac after the recent snow fall. It¡¯s easy to distinguish the two, like a DM album there are ballads and pop, both about the same subject, Love and other calamities. Both sitting together politely on the same Basildon park bench, sharing a coffee (with plenty of whipped cream).
It¡¯s easy to see why Gore loves these songs, all infatuation and suppressed excitement meaning in the lyrics. Trouble is, he didn¡¯t write them, and his love for the originals with admiration for the songwriters has, I believe, prevented him from taking each song by the throat, caressing warmth into them, then cooling till they resemble something totally Gore.
Here Gore has taken other peoples words and tried, with mixed results.
Songs ¡°By This River¡± and ¡°Oh My Love¡± could fit snugly into any of the later DM albums, without you being able to see the join. Synth tinkle and bass rumble modernise and interest, adding new depth; they don¡¯t take on a depressive air thankfully. Although all Gore does is sing them and add a DM Mix.
¡°Das Lied Vom Einsamen M¨£dchen¡± is the standout track, sung entirely in German, hard to like if you don¡¯t understand the words (get Google to translate the lyrics) It¡¯s a beautiful song, Gore lush and clear, tune dark, broody and velvet smooth, layers as plentiful as those in an Icleandic glacier and just as frosty. He sounds detached, distant and bereft, and is quite superb. Industrial harmonies and harsh drums could have made the track depressing, but the contrast between vocal and music strikes in that ¡°Grimms Fairy Tale¡± area of the brain and sticks like glitter to your skin. I¡¯ve found myself singing portions of German in public much to my sisters amusement.
The best tracks and those which I have made my work colleagues listen to day after day, are ¡°Stardust¡± ¡°Loverman¡± and ¡°In My Time of Dying¡± definitely the best of the rest. Vocals are bright, tracks melt into the vocal and subject matter is more suited to his ¡°Shopping List¡±¡ Love, Anger, Passion, Lust, Depression, Oppression et al.
¡°Loverman¡± has to be my favourite, it¡¯s a sexy, warm and forbidden lyric (Thanks Mr Cave¡±!) with Gore¡¯s silky vocal, makes my heart rush, but I wish (and this may be the Bjork fan in me) that he would push his vocal range till it cracks and let us see the anger, hear the fury and lust which we know he is capable of in his writing, as it stands its really good, but it could be so much better, and I think Gore knows it. He¡¯s being too polite.
He ought to stop being so polite to his heroes. Take that material and make it his own, take it and scream it into the microphone, make the Gretch and Stynoparker Synthocon convulse under his fingers, reverberate till new sounds are magnetised into being
In a nutshell ¨C it¡¯s a great album of covers but disappointing to those looking for something which stretches the talents of Martin L Gore. Not such a great sound quality from the CD though, copies badly onto MP3 (leaves it sounding quiet and flat) the reviewer who said that the CD player couldn¡¯t go high volume enough was quite right. I¡¯d like to hear a re-master, something I could take to work and hear over the sound of chatter and phones.
Martin¡ Mr Gore¡ Sir¡ do me a big favour, write your own, sing your own, produce it on one album, remix it, call it what you like and publish it in a cool box set with hardback booklet, I really don¡¯t care. Just push that voice till you sound like the song wants to feel, and how you want it to feel, communicate as much depth as you do with your own lyrics, bring it up to the standard expected of an Ivor Novello winner.
I know you¡¯re capable of it you big tease!
Be Seeing You
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 6 May 2003
I completely disagree with the Amazon review. This album is highly charged with emotion. Isolation is a common theme, featuring on "Stardust", a radically reworked "I Cast A Lonesome Shadow" and a superb "Candy Says".
Having heard most of the originals, Gore generally surpasses writer's perspective and interprets the songs from the point of view as a fan. Even classics as John Lennon's "Oh My Love" are rejuvinated with a genuine warmth missing from that on Imagine. Perhaps only "By This River" doesn't match the original version, but that was a spectuclar piece on Eno's Before and After Science album.
Highlights are "In My Time of Dying" in which a soulful element is added to this gospel/blues track (dramatically different from Dylan's interpretation), the Julee Cruise track "In My Other World" which is simultaneously beautifully thoughtful, melancholy and joyful and a cynical "Tiny Girls".
Gore has managed to infuse his own perspective on the arrangement and vocal performances. Gore has, especially over the last few Depeche Mode albums, shown a greater vocal range and sensitivity to the band's lead Dave Gahan, and this is evident again here, delicate on Candy Says, menacing and dark on Nick Cave's Loverman.
A brilliant distraction from the Depeche Mode rollercoaster which also provides a glimpse into Gore's vast record collection, wide taste and current recording preferences.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Martin's previous effort , which was meant to be an E.P. , was fantastic. It captured not only the late 80's zeitgeist , it also somehow remained quite timeless. The reason being that it had very effective but minimalist production work, which meant that the tracks worked a treat.
A criticism of the earlier work could also be applied here, although there's more analogue burbling and a harder edge to the sounds (I can hear some ARP 2600 on a few tracks). However, with the exception of "loverman", even the german sang NICO cover works well.
However, it only gets four stars as it's one for fans. Newcomers to DM or Gore's renderings would be advised to listen first, then purchase.
Still waiting for the new DM album martin. Hope it's not a seven year "gestation" a la' THE PRODIGY...
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 18 June 2003
Martin Gore showcases influencial music through his years, and from this shows us just why Depeche Mode's songwriter is so creative.
Having listened to the original versions of most of these tracks, i was glum, but after a fearful wait i put it in and was, literally, blown away.
The two tracks which I'd been dreading the most, Loverman & Das Lied Vom, had a scarily hypnotic effect, and made the Metallica Loverman cover sound ridiculous. Even the semi-religous In my time of dying was given an electronic uplift, and made to sound as a heavenly trumpet call.
The only problems were of course that it didn't last long enough, and the lyrics weren't showcased. A whole 45 minutes of chillout bliss...
on 19 March 2013
This album was released 10 years ago but still sounds superb. Really interesting to hear Martin sing a collection of well chosen covers. Also good to hear his voice on a whole record because on Depeche Mode records he lead sings only one or two songs on each album. I read that a lot of people don`t dig Gore`s voice but I think he has a lovely voice and is indeed a good singer. I don`t think many people who bought this record were not already familiar with his Depeche Mode output. So it`s unlikely he gained new fans by releasing this record. Who cares, it`s great.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 10 June 2006
I love Depeche Mode and was gutted when they split prior to this album. Martin's earlier Counterfeit album wasn't all I had hoped, and I thought the days of Depeche Mode's churning and stirring melodies were to be nothing more than oft replayed albums in my collection. Nothing new to look forward to. Counterfeit 2 hit me for six. Gore at his finest, with operatic vocals that he has demonstrated at gigs but rarely on album are here to be heard, lights off, volume loud (sorry neighbours), and churn and stir to your hearts content. Mode fans will love it. Although Gore and Gahan should be sewn together at the hip for either to be complete, this album demonstrates that Gore is a singular genius. Buy a copy for everyone you know. It's unfair that some people will never hear this.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 27 May 2003
I've been a big fan of Martin L. Gore since his first Counterfeit outing.
The tracks given the Gore reworking are varied and range from David Essex, Nick Cave, John Lennon, Lou Reed, David Bowie and Iggy Pop plus more gems that Mr.Gore has truly made his own.
A must buy for all DM fans.
A must buy for all music lovers who recognise a true underated singer/songwriter who can create as well as craft tunes.
on 3 February 2013
Superb - first of all the typical style and music - and I sure do like playing it from vinyl!
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 17 May 2003
How do you take songs which have inspired you throughout your musical career and interpret these without losing the original essence? This is a challenge which Martin Gore accomplishes successfully on this album, of which highlights include 'Loverman', 'Stardust' and 'I Case A Lonesome Shadow'. Moreover, the song-writing in this selection is so strong that the transferral to a more subtle electronic sound works well. This has inspired me to listen to the originals by Brian Eno, Julee Cruise, Nick Cave and the Velvet Underground. Overall, a good compilation of emotional and soulful tunes.