After going through a rough patch with each other, Gore, Gahan, and Fletcher have come through the tunnel and, with Bjork’s producer, Mark Bell, at the producing console, have emerged into the sunlight with an album that sounds fresher than anything they have produced for a decade. Part of the reason for this is the variety: Breathe could be a slow torch ballad sung by a young Marc Almond, while When The Body Speaks, with its sparse resonant guitar and beautiful melody, sounds like something U2 should have done.
One of the triumphs of the album is Dead of Night, which out-Marilyns Marilyn Manson with its a heavy, swaggering feel, and biting lyrics the Roppongi set might well take offence at: "We are the dead of night/ We're in the zombie room/ We're twilight's parasites/ We're self-inflicted wounds." With choice lyrics about lost love, compulsion, addiction, and denial, hung on great melodic hooks, main songwriter Martin Gore shows that he's still the Noel Coward of electro pop/rock, while David Gahan's voice, as ever, gives things an interesting twist.
30th May, 2001