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|Tiny star she guides my way
"DAVE GAHAN has risen from
livewire Essex soulboy to globally adored rock 'n 'soul star during more than
two decades as one of pop's most iconic frontmen. As the voice of
Depeche Mode, Dave has become a hero to millions,
hitting intense public highs and deep personal lows.
'Paper Monsters' is Gahan's first solo album, and finds the singer starting from scratch again. Composed with a multi-instrumentalist friend from New York, Knox Chandler, and produced by Ken Thomas of Sigur Rós fame, the album is a 21st century masterpiece of tones and textures, reflection and rebirth. Boasting the freshness of a debut but the seasoned wisdom of an old soul, it was recorded in an open-ended, back-to-basics manner which Dave found both liberating and exhilarating.
(...) Although Dave has fronted Depeche Mode for 22 years, 'Paper Monsters' marks his debut as a fully fledged songwriter. The monsters of the title make passing reference to his former appetite for destruction, but mostly to more everyday demons - from the agonies and ecstasies of long-term love to the heartbreaking euphoria of fatherhood. But while sensual, sublime confessionals like 'Hold On', 'A Little Piece', and 'Stay' may be lullabies of longing wrapped in chamber-music arrangements, the album's prevailing mood is overwhelmingly positive. "It sounds hopeful because that's what I am," insists the rejuvenated singer. "
-- Paper Monsters Press Release, Barbara Charone - MBC Media, 3/03
2003: Paper Monsters
TrackListing: 1 - Dirty Sticky Floors 2 - Hold On 3 - A Little Piece 4 - Bottle Living 5 - Black And Blue Again 6 - Stay 7 - I Need You 8 - Bitter Apple 9 - Hidden Houses 10 - Goodbye
" The first sound that greets you, when popping Dave Gahan's 'Paper Monsters' in the CD player is a filtered guitar loop, which soon slides into the banging lead single Dirty Sticky Floors. The up-tempo track features some nice electronic basslines and drumpatterns, and with some catchy woo hoo's this is bound to be a crowd-pleaser on his forthcoming summer tour. Dirty Sticky Floors could have been a Depechetrack, albeit one of the happier ones. (...) Starting off with a gruff groan from mr Gahan, Bottle Living sounds very Depeche - like a nice blend of Dead Of Night and Personal Jesus, with a splash of Jim Morrison for good measure. This track is a favourite at d-m.com, and Pete will be mighty peeved if this is not the opening for Dave's forthcoming shows.
(...) the albums absolutely best track Hidden Houses is a cool, rocky tune in the vein of Placebo and The Cure. Great, great, GREAT bass, fantastic instrumentation and a nice drive. This track just feels right, and sets the album up nicely for a cool finish. Hard to pin-point what makes this track unique. It just fits in many ways.
(...) A few too many ballads perhaps, but the songs that do have some bollocks to them more than make up for it. It will be interesting to see how these songs transfer into the live setting. Our guess is that those who were whining about about a slow patch during the Exciter Tour will once again be moaning, while others will be jumping with joy."
-- depeche-mode.com, 3/03
TrackListing: 1. Saw Something 2. Kingdom 3. Deeper And Deeper 4. 21 Days 5. Miracles 6. Use You 7. Insoluble 8. Endless 9. A Little Lie 10. Down
"It's easy to claim that Depeche Mode frontman Dave Gahan can't hold a candle to the songwriting skills of his bandmate, DM's chief tunesmith Martin Gore. But looks like all those years of singing and shimmying alongside Gore have done wonders for homeboy. As with Gahan's debut solo joint, 'Paper Monsters', don't expect overemphasis on the arena-sized bombast of Gahan's day job with sophomore effort 'Hourglass'. At night, the black-clad New York transplant prefers more intimacy, as evidenced by opener Saw Something, a soothing meditation which relies simply on glassy bleeps, a soft pulse and Gahan's trademark baritone. Of course, the record also packs some punch with cuts like leadoff single Kingdom, fueled by thumping 4/4 and jagged synth-bass, and Use You, Gahan's stab at sleazy electro-blues-rock. While it's not quite convincing when our man Dave lays the edge on thick, he fares better when strapping on the patented gloom and doom, dropping a somber ballad like Insoluble and creating another track to add to your bedroom mix. Though Gahan still has some catching up to do, one can imagine that Gore's looking nervously over his shoulder these days."
-- Kiran Aditham, weeklydig.com, 10/07
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