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An autobiography with a difference
on 6 December 2003
It has been a long time coming, but at last Dave Gahan finally has something Depeche Mode fans can look forward to. 'Paper Monsters' is the debut solo album from the Depeche Mode frontman, who for the last 22 years of his life, was singing songs written by Martin Gore and Vince Clarke. In a nutshell, the album is Gahan's own memoir to what has been a rollercoaster ride, battling through his near-fatal drink-drug addiction in the 1990s to the breakdown of his previous relationships. This album sees Dave reborn and ready to unleash his 'monsters' as well as his long-awaited songwriting talents.
The energetic 'Dirty Sticky Floors' opens up this storybook of an album, presenting to us a different side of Dave we have longed to see - a side that has broken free from the wildchild we all knew from Depeche Mode. Indeed, the feelings are ever present in his lyrics - 'Ask me what I want/Easy, that's just more/How long will I wait for you?/Twice as long as I did before' - this presenting his more relaxed and optimistic outlook on companionship and life. Then again, this message is virtually omnipresent throughout the album.
Emotions galore, the album remains a marvel, from the powerful guitar crescendos of 'Bottle Living' to the mystifying and maudlin sounds of 'Stay', 'Goodbye' and 'Black And Blue Again, and finally to the subtle and mellow sounds of 'I Need You' and 'A Little Piece'. The album is a tour de force in its own right artistically as Gahan is able to mobilise his own emotions through song and present an eclectic blend of rock, synth, deep strings and vocal harmonies that bring out the best in a rock artist.
Whereas all other singer/songwriters jump on the commercial bandwagon and write the same type of songs over and over again (Avril Lavigne on teen angst, Ja Rule on justice for rap, So Solid Crew on life in the 'ghetto'), Dave Gahan is streets ahead here. Based on personal experiences, he indulges us to take a look at life as it really is, the importance of friends, the ability to revitalise oneself and basically for him to say (and I quote from an old DM song!) 'Let me show you the world in my eyes.'
A fanstastic songwriting debut, Dave Gahan has clearly done justice. 'Paper Monsters' is out on general release.