Dave Gahan – [Album]

Thursday, 25 October 2007

In his sophomore effort at a solo career, Dave Gahan provides yet another hint to why Depeche Mode has become so popular in its nearly three-decade spot within global popular music. Hourglass is a synthetic whirlwind culminating everything from the ethereal voice of Gahan down to the instrumentals, maintaining a clear backing to the sonic palate of yet another 1980s product from across the pond.

Throughout the album, you get the same pounding drum beat, keeping metronomic time to nearly each track while Gahan spouts some cleverly cynical lyric about the state of the world today. Somewhere in there you get an expository guitar riff that tears through the bridge, plowing its way to the return chorus. On another track, the assault of synth-pop picks up and you get some overly sexualized song about a kind of tainted love and playing hard to get.

This is how Dave Gahan works his magic. This is how his metrosexual, strangely chiseled aging hipster body is able to flaunt shirtless at nearly all his shows with Depeche Mode. It’s with material like this that he’s somebody’s knight in shining leather pants and vest. It’s with that raspy baritone he’s been able to be one hell of a dude and a siren all at the same time. Hourglass may just be another excuse for Gahan to show off his already limitless talent, but considering how far Depeche Mode has come, this was bound to happen.

For long time fans, Depeche Mode isn’t just a sound and a frontman the way most record companies like to market music to the populous. Dave Gahan in cohorts with Martin Gore has always been at the foundation of involvement with Depeche Mode. Then it’s probably a little strange to hear something like Hourglass, have it sound so much like Depeche Mode but know it’s Gahan on his own. We know Gore is as integral to the band as Gahan but it makes you wonder just how much our maybe second or third favorite U.K. crooner has taken from his experiences with Depeche Mode. No doubt his efforts are warranted and deserving of the cult following and well, we’ll follow you with this one too, I guess.

With this in mind, it’s quite difficult to divorce the frontman from his original project. Similar to when Thom Yorke graced the likes of record sellers from bigwig industry chains to your local mom-and-pops around the corner with his solo album, you get a clear sense of the place the artist comes from. Gahan seems to not only create an individual composition of himself as an artist, but goes further and embellishes on the rightfully delivered success of Depeche Mode.

Hourglass is out now on Vigin/Mute.

For more on Dave Gahan, click here:

Dave Gahan – "Kingdom" (music video)

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