With a title like Angels & Ghosts you’d expect there would be elements of gospel and elegiac rock, and the album certainly doesn’t disappoint: Gahan’s voice is at its vampiric best as an evangelical crooner seeking redemption rather than the grunge rock messiah he was in Songs of Faith of Devotion, or the dark wave synth seduction of earlier Depeche Mode albums. The album swings from Gahan blessing his congregation with songs like Shine to descending into sin with songs like Tempted. One Thing is a beautiful slow dance of a song whilst also ruminating on all of the apathy in the world and feeling disconnected to the present and showing a desire to just get out of town.
It’s a different world today/No one seems to care much anyway/ Don’t listen to what they say/They don’t know what they're fighting for/There’s always life on Mars out there for me.
Yet at the same time realising that the one unifying force that keeps us all going is love (“You just need one thing/Love”) and that despite the multitudes of shit and absurdity that we go through in a day, the micro aggressions, the stupidity, the apathy of our lives, we get through it because of those we love.
It’s hard not to compare the album to his work with Depeche Mode, especially when the album feels so much like an else world Songs of Faith & Devotion. The album is rock tinged gospel in a lesser key – more mellow, less immediate, but nonetheless seductive to the ears. Let’s face it, Dave Gahan could sing out the names of English counties and it would sound sublime.
Monthly music columnist for the Kirkby Extra, sometimes article writer for Get Into This. Freelance writer/artist/maker.