41 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
Fantastic!, 2 April 2009
The first few times I listened to this, I was disappointed and even wrote a 1-star review elsewhere suggesting it was time for DM to give up. But then I went on a long car journey, put SOTU on rotation, and wound the volume up (you have to listen to it loud!). By the end of the journey I was flabbergasted - this is a great album and will be stuck in the stereo for some time!
The opening track "In Chains" takes a long time to get going and this might lose a few casual listeners. But be patient and you will eventually get it - and when you do the rest of the album falls into place. The pace picks up with "Hole to Feed", a decent, cynical Gahan track with a killer bassline, and then you're hit with "Wrong" - a thumping Mode rant that has you banging the steering wheel with a huge grin. "Fragile Tension" gives you a breather, with a softer melody but enough guitar noise to keep you awake.
"Little Soul" rears its little head with a very cutesy and deceptively simple refrain, and is weirdly sexy - an unusual but endearing song. This is followed by "In Sympathy", another slow burner but with a hook that eventually gets under your skin. It leads you into "Peace" - an uplifting duet musing on cleanliness and redemption. At this point you're 7 songs through and, where most other albums are about to wind down, SOTU has much more yet to give.
After dropping the tempo with "Come Back" (a noisy Gahan ballad) and the obligatory instrumental, "SpaceWalker", you have "Perfect" - another classic Mode song with a brilliant bass hook, uplifting chorus, and clever lyrics that ponder alternate existences. The third Gahan track "Miles Away" is lyrically dubious, but is rescued by a strong groove and Dave's unique vocal delivery - with what sounds like a brief Elvis impersonation! "Jezebel" is a Gore-sung dirge which initially threatens to embarrass but is saved by a pretty melody. Finally, the album finishes on a high with "Corrupt" - a charged and pervy song that leaves you uneasy about Gore's and your own sexuality, but singing nonetheless.
Throughout the album the pace is measured and confident, and the many layers of sonic and lyrical trickery pull you in deeper with each repeated listen.