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Doom & Gloom. The Greatest DM Album.,
This review is from: Music For The Masses (Audio CD)
This is the greatest DM album. It's difficult to choose the greatest DM album. They all have their perfections and they all have their flaws. I agree with most people who express an opinion that 'Violator', 'Black Celebration' and 'Songs OFAD' are contenders. However 'Ultra' really grows on you over the years and 'Playing The Angel' is just superb.
But for me 'MFTM' is their best album and my favourite DM record. I loved 'Black Celebration' especially the singles 'A Question Of Time' and 'Stripped.' How could DM ever top such songs? Answer: with this.
Be warned, the doom and gloom on this recording is almightily pervasive. There are a few lighter moments but as an exercise in beautiful, bleak melancholy 'MFTM' is hard to surpass. Incidentally, 'MFTM' is a wonderful title for a record of popular music and arguably the best DM album cover too; minimalist, reminiscent of some forgotten official document, most likely from some forgotten, brutally oppressive regime.
'Never Let Me Down Again' is quite a monster. It just comes booming straight at you, slavering with musical ideas (which is ironic since the lyrics seem so bland and innocuous): the opening guitar(?) riff, the piano melody, the big synth theme, the big pounding drums, the massive climax (choir and all) and then how it all dies down into a kind of post-apocalyptic breeze and the icy aftermath of 'The Things You Said' just sails in, takes over and chills your soul.
Back into slightly warmer territory for 'Strangelove.' DM's catchiest tune anyone?
'Sacred' is an odd song sounding by turns portentous and cheerful. I really enjoy the hopeful-sounding lyrics on this one however.
'Little 15.' For me this is the quintessential DM song, sonically bleak and dark with lyrics that are tender yet which hint at the perverse (illegal even?) Makes me think of lovelorn fugitives in some forsaken autumnal European hinterland.
'Behind The Wheel': not a track that ever makes my favourite DM playlists. For all of its incessant beat it strikes me as being a rather dull song. For me its the sequel to 'Little 15' where the lovers(?) have found/ stolen a car and hit the open road.
'I Need You Now': I read a review of 'MFTM' years ago when the album was first released. The reviewer was on the whole positive but expressed bafflement as to why the 'Mode were seemingly hard at work inflating a rubber dinghy during this particular song. Since then I've never been able to get that image out of my mind when I listen to this. So...yes, some strange noises. Inventive. Mournful. Weird.
'Nothing.' Here's a little gem, a surprisingly chirpy little pop song, as cheery as 'Sacred.' There are even some 'woo woo' backing singers. It's as if DM really wanted to lighten up the mood of the album here: 'Hey! Let's have some female backing singers do some 'woo woos'!' The lyrics remain as bleak as ever. Bleaker even.
'To Have And To Hold.' A distillation of majestic gloom. I think that says it all. Not a 'woo woo' to be heard.
'Pimpf.' The only definition I've ever found as to the meaning of this word, if I remember rightly, is that it's a perjorative reference to a member of the Hitler Youth. If so, as a title for this song it seems very apt. This instrumental sounds martial and very sinister. It is music for storm-swept parade grounds. The song gradually builds to a climax which you sense will be awesome or horrible and very possibly both. As it turns out the songs just cuts off...Was the outcome one of awe or horror (or both)? That is for you to decide.
'Music For the Masses.' If the masses want doom and gloom then here's the soundtrack for them. And it's fantastic.