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Monday, January 23, 2006

Nothing's Impossible 

Not trendy I am. After hearing about it and listening to a song sample and viewing the first video and putting it on my Christmas list, I finally got around to getting Depeche Mode's "Playing the Angel," several months after its release. Some day I'll actually get around to hearing the entire CD; right now I'm stuck on track 8, "Nothing's Impossible," which is catchy without being singly.

The CD is actually more similar to "Exciter" than many people are willing to admit. The difference between the two is that Depeche Mode have discovered dance beats again, and Gore and Gahan have come up with a catchy tune or two in there. Otherwise, it's the same German synth/guitar mix they've been mining since Alan Wilder's departure.

Back to Nada é Impossivel, compared with the source material for "Turn, Turn, Turn."

Even the stars look brighter tonight

I didn't realize you could share your music lists. Don't know if I want to that badly.

I still believe in love at first sight

But people like the song. Take Landrew:

Out of the blue I'll find myself just singing the chorus to "Lilian" or "Nothing's Impossible". The Dave Gahan penned songs "Suffer Well" and "I Want It All" are actual highlights of the disc....Even though the lyrics don't deviate much from the standard DM template, the sounds here are excitingly retro. "Precious" totally channels "Enjoy The Silence"....Let's all say it together now: Best. Depeche. Mode. Album. Since. Violator.

Other Canadian, Outburst, says this:

In the 80s, Depeche Mode made tracks that were catchy yet elusive. They were poppy, but not pop. They were experimental, yet not completely off-their-rocker.

Since then, they've gone back and forth trying to catch their groove. One album would be all strut and swagger while the next would be entirely strange and melancholy....

The lead single for the album, Precious, has a light, shimmery beat and Gahan again sings in classic Depeche Mode style. It's a light, bubbly track in the same mould of Enjoy the Silence. It makes for an easy listen and it's probably the one track that's easiest to click with, so it makes for a suitable choice for a first single, but that doesn't necessarily make it a stand-out track....

While dark and moody, Nothing's Impossible is also rather slow and minimal and the lyrics are so dull they sound like they were penned by Moby instead Depeche Mode....

Playing the Angel has it all in some respects. It has some good songs and some songs that should have been thrown out with the trash. On some tracks, it sounds like the group hasn't lost a single step and yet on others, it sounds like they're getting perilously closer and closer to their expiration date, running out of gas, or a step away from the retirement home, take your pick of metaphors.

It's not a perfect album and although it doesn't have any instantly stand-out tracks likely to merit unquestionable inclusion on future "best-of" albums, there is enough depth here, especially on the first half of Playing the Angel to merit multiple listens, of which, one may find more and more to like.

So why are my views on "Precious" and "Nothing's Impossible" so different from Outburst's? Because, for what it's worth, I'm a pop fan. Good pop songs, such as those by the Partridge Family and the Backstreet Boys and the Clash and the Sex Pistols," are always welcome in my ears.

Probably more later, if I ever get around to removing track 8 from auto-repeat in my car.

P.S. My PDA seems to be working fine now after the firmware upgrade. Eventually I'll select a few Playing the Angel tracks for inclusion in the PDA.

From the Ontario Empoblog (Latest OVVA news here)

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