Release Date: Oct 23, 2015
Record label: Columbia
Genre(s): Electronic, Blues, Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Downbeat, Alternative Singer/Songwriter, Country Blues
Dave Gahan’s fourth album away from the Depeche Mode mothership finds him once again working with British duo Soulsavers, following their well-received 2012 collaboration The Light the Dead See. Pleasingly, there’s no great departure in style: Gahan’s distinctive baritone takes centre stage, set against a backdrop of slow, brooding instrumentation that’s embellished with hints of gospel and blues. It’s not quite as lyrically bleak as its predecessor, however – even though You Owe Me seems to be about one of Gahan’s numerous brushes with the grim reaper, it’s very much a positive experience (“Angels are singing/It’s a beautiful sound”).
Depeche Mode's Dave Gahan tapped into another side of himself when he joined fellow Brits, production duo Soulsavers, for their 2012 album, The Light the Dead See. A noted shift away from the dance-pop electronics of his primary group, Soulsavers' dusty, organic sounds allowed Gahan to bare his soul and forced the listener to bare theirs. .
On opener "Shine," Gahan stakes his position as charismatic minister of the church of reformed sinners. Backed by a gospel choir, the uplifting track stomps and soars. The Soulsavers production is warm and hazy throughout, but especially on the woozy "Tempted" and lead single "All of This and Nothing." Album highlight "The Last Time" comes toward the end, a cinematic sweep of gorgeous strings and choir.
With Depeche Mode, frontman Dave Gahan's haunting baritone often provides the human touch within songwriter Martin Gore's icy electronic tableaus. With Soulsavers — a British production duo known for its gospel-inflected, organic sound — the singer has room to grow into something more. Angels & Ghosts is the second album Gahan has recorded with the group, after 2012's dark, bluesy The Light the Dead See.
British production duo Rich Machin and Ian Glover have been looking for salvation since 2003’s Tough Guys Don’t Dance, working with a series of vocalists synonymous with the gloomy and disenfranchised. Jazz singer Josh Haden, Screaming Trees’ Mark Lanegan and, most recently, Depeche Mode’s frontman have all loaned their vocal and compositional talents to Soulsavers’ dirty blues and Western-framed gospel. While listening to their previous collaboration, the powerful The Light The Dead See, is almost like eavesdropping on a confession; here, Gahan seems to have gained some absolution.
Soulsavers probably could not have made a better choice of vocalist to front their second album. On The Light the Dead See (2012) the Depeche Mode crooner was a great complement to the British production team’s cinematic, bluesy, noirish backing tracks. Gahan had released two previous solo albums that charted similar territory. The Light the Dead See, though, benefitted from superior songwriting and an easy, natural chemistry and largely avoided the spotty lyrics which had marred Gahan’s Paper Monsters (2003) and Hourglass (2007).
Angels & Ghosts is effectively Dave Gahan’s second album with Soulsavers, as the Depeche Mode frontman sang on almost every track of production duo Rich Machin and Ian Glover’s 2012 set The Light the Dead See. This time they’ve aimed for a live sound with the intention of performing these songs on tour. Gone are Depeche Mode’s shiny synths of yore: Angels & Ghosts’ default position is the doom-laden, mid-paced ballad.
For nearly four decades now, Dave Gahan has been the predominant vocalist in Depeche Mode. As such, Gahan's voice has only grown stronger over the years—deeper, more controlled, and more iconic. During this time, that voice has mostly been employed in the service of someone else's songs, that person being Depeche Mode co-conspirator and the band's primary songwriter Martin Gore.
The Mode mainman’s second Soulsavers collaboration is album of two halves, Brian. When Depeche Mode took to sleazy, scuzzed-up blues rock and gospel with 1993’s Songs Of Faith And Devotion album they put the drugs and devilment back into a genre that U2 had sucked insipid with Rattle & Hum. ADVERTISINGinRead invented by Teads .