219. Depeche Mode – “Black Celebration”

I have a strange relationship with the behemoth of pomp-goth-pop which is Depeche Mode.

I have several friends (in Australia and Denmark) who swear by the awesomeness of their output and their merits as stadium rockers.

I have seen films about the band, listened to tracks over and over at teenage sleepovers, and even queued out the front of Festival Hall for a show that was then cancelled (bloody soft Dave Gahan!).  And somewhere along the way I picked up a view of their albums in secondhand stores.

This is the first in my collection, and the one I’ve listened to least.  It is a strange collection of overly electronic and orchestral tracks with their trademark melodramatic vocals. 

Too many of songs feature Martin Gore’s falsetto vocals (a poor man’s Bronski Beat?) which I find quite grating.  Gahan has a more emotive voice and he manage to drag Gore’s lyrics into a poppier domain.

There are a few decent tracks (Fly on the Windscreen, Stripped, Question of Time) on here, but most of it is too overwrought and new wavy. If I wanted to revisit mid-80s British electronica, I would put my New Order albums on the turntable before this every time.

File under: More like a funeral

One response to “219. Depeche Mode – “Black Celebration”

  1. worth it just for the sublime “Fly On The Windscreen”, and “Stripped”. Without doubt the album that set them apart from the other electro-pop bands at the time and set them up for a brief period of world domination.

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