Famed Depeche Mode vocalist Dave Gahan has come together again with Soulsavers to produced a new and organic album that loses the synths and electronica of the more familiar work of Gahan’s time with Depeche Mode in favour of swelling minor chords, subtle tambourines and pumped up guitars. Leaving the New Wave kid persona behind him, Gahan and British producer Rich Machin move away from the dark blues of 2012’s collaboration The Light the Dead See and on to the even darker gospel-style of Angels and Demons.
The standard for this release appears to be the brooding ballad that evokes doom and gloom to which the emotional dedication of Gahan is utterly unrelenting; the album’s opening track Shine showcase the unmistakable baritone of his voice and overwork an insisting “the world is against us” attitude; a model crowd pleaser. Current single All of This and Nothing is comprised of lyrics that lack finesse and the whole get up of the track feels overdone and forced. Nevertheless it ends impressively before shuffling on to the album’s ballad, the gloomy yet confident One Thing that sees a shake off of the angsty façade in to a mature crooning in Gahan.
It’s interesting to see Gahan stand out against the styles to which he is usually associated and he has certainly worked hard in recent years to establish himself as a songwriter, it’s just a shame the production of Angels and Ghosts is so haphazard and the styles of song awash with seemingly forced emotion and a misfire in style interpretation; this album hasn’t worked in Gahan’s favour, as a collaboration or as a platform for diversity in his performing arsenal.