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Album Review: Martin Gore – MG

3 min read

Martin Gore, best known as the founding member and songwriter of beloved electronic band Depeche Mode, is a workaholic; he said he’s usually in the studio five days a week every week, but that’s not an issue if you’re doing what you love. After finishing up Depeche Mode’s 2013 Delta Machine tour, Gore began work on what would be his dream instrumental electronic album, affectionately titled MG; we’re familiar with Gore’s previous work, but this is a whole new world, Gore’s intention with this project is to capture the emotions created by musical atmospheres. MG

Opening track Pinking is as interesting as it is short, it’s not the most intense of tracks but perhaps its purpose is to ready the listener for what is to come, the way the synths were shaped have you hooked from the start. Swanning is introduced by darkening synths, if it were to be used in film it would be best synched with the unravelling of an evil plot, whereas Exalt begins a lot more airy whilst being a continuation of the in depth sound that has been carried over the last couple of tracks; Elk has a slightly more intensified vibe, it’s not explosive but it definitely has a more lifted and backed up sound. Brink is the intense and earthy track we were waiting for to emerge, it’s almost mechanical with its metallic beats and machine-like characteristics, maybe this is the potential soundtrack for a film based on a robotic apocalypse; Europa Hymn is a tad more laid back with its dreamy synth-strings and subtle beat.

Creeper doesn’t really climax but it still has that dark theme we’ve been digging over the course of the album, same can be said for Spiral with the exception of a few added sounds to fill the void. Stealth has a fun synth and bass intro, the track soon evolves into a stringed up atmosphere that captivates you; Hum is very memorable, it does have a consistent humming that becomes a background element as the rest of the track reveals itself, becoming one of the most fuller sounding tracks on the album. A slight gush of wind leads us into the synth heavy Islet, a minimalistic piece that leaves you intrigued; Crowly cuts right to the chase and is easily the most intense track on MG. 

The introduction to Trysting almost sounds like the horn of a steam train, but soon gives way to an airy atmosphere of sound and emotion; Southerly is like a march to victory, its introduction is somewhat suspenseful and evolves into what you may interpret as a positive environment. Featherlight is all about its name, it isn’t a heavy number and nor is it overbearing, even so it can still be quite uplifting; final track Blade is surprisingly on the down low, one may expect an electronic album to end with some sort of a bang, but the distant crash does suffice and we are reminded that we are listening to a work of art and not a piece of predictability.

Decades have gone by since Martin Gore heard his musical calling, his album MG is the soundtrack to an artist who has a clear understanding of what he and his machines are all about, a collection of a lifetime of experiences. Gore successfully mastered his concept of expressing emotions through sound without words to carry it, and no melody to misguide you from taking in its ambient and intriguing atmosphere. If any artist can get you to think about and feel any of the above just with the power of sound, then he/she has done the job right, Martin Gore can be proud of MG.