Music for the Masses (Deluxe Edition)
Throughout the ‘80s, Depeche Mode went from being excited outside agitators creating unusual snythesizer-driven music to the standard-bearers of the new sound sweeping dance clubs and concert arenas. The group’s 1987 album Music for the Masses is less a boast than an admission of just how far its unconventional sound had infiltrated the mainstream. After the early departure of Vince Clarke to Yaz and Erasure, Martin Gore assumed songwriting duties and crafted his own doom-laden visions of the future for singer David Gahan to render with strong, defiant emotion. The pure pop of “Strangelove” and the noir-groove of “Behind the Wheel” exhibit the band’s powerful keyboard-fueled wall of sound while “Never Let Me Down Again,” “The Things You Said,” “Nothing,” and “I Want You Now” evoke the quiet misery once envisioned by the existential coldness of Joy Division. The re-mastered edition includes several b-sides as bonus cuts. The cover of the rock classic “Route 66” is neatly reformulated as a synth attack that sounds like the Jesus and Mary Chain without the guitars.