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Paper Monsters CD+DVD, Limited Edition

4 out of 5 stars 51 customer reviews

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Audio CD, CD+DVD, Limited Edition, June 3, 2003
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

DELUXE EDITION : File: DEPECHE MODE. 2003 debut solo album from their frontman featuring "Dirty Sticky Floors".Includes a bonus DVD

The solo debut of Depeche Mode frontman David Gahan has been a long time coming, so you'd expect the album to be brimming with messy ideas formulated while Gahan was forced to sing Vince Clarke and Martin Gore songs while his own were filed away. Yet Paper Monsters is not the wild work of someone newly liberated. These songs feel as if they were written over a short period, rather than plucked from 20-year-worth of unrecorded tunes. There are basically three types of track here: powerful Depeche-style glam ("Dirty Sticky Floors," "Bottle Living"); quiet, urban mood music ("A Little Piece," "Bitter Apple," "Stay"); and rumbling industrial tracks ("Black and Blue Again," "Hidden Houses," "Goodbye"). Lyrically autobiographical, songs deal with Gahan's trouble with relationships and intoxicants and, though they lack Gore's sense of drama and perversity, they do have a maudlin charm. --Dominic Wills
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 3, 2003)
  • limited_edition edition
  • Original Release Date: 2003
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: CD+DVD, Limited Edition
  • Label: Reprise
  • ASIN: B00009KTWW
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #151,014 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
As the singer/frontman for Depeche Mode, Dave Gahan has that same mystique that many lead singers have. Like Ian Curtis from Joy Division, or Michael Hutchence from INXS, he was a man too beautiful for words, too good a singer for the trappings of the genre he was in, and too troubled for his fans to see. The difference is...Dave Gahan survived, and now he presents us with his debut solo album to tell us about it.
"Paper Monsters" is a very personal album, with Dave giving us his account of the dangers of his past addictions and failed relationships, and how he lived through them to make it to the good place he's obviously in at this point in his life. It's an introspective album, but it's not depressing or boring. The music (which was co-written with fellow '80's survivor, Psychadelic Furs guitarist Knox Chandler) is very well thought out, a combination of ambient electronics with punchy blues guitar. Songs like "Dirty Sticky Floors," "Bottle Living," and "Black and Blue Again" sound like some edgy new style of electro-blues, with Dave giving his voice the same edge he did on Depeche Mode's "Songs of Faith and Devotion." Then there are the softer moments, like "Stay," "Hold On," "A Little Piece," and "Bitter Apple," which show just what kind of range the man has (not just vocally, but emotionally). These are the kinds of songs that stick with you. They speak volumes not just about Gahan's life, but about everybody's lives. The themes are familiar, making this music one can relate to. There's something for everybody here.
It's not Depeche Mode...there are moments that are akin to Depeche's sound, but Dave Gahan has shown himself to be a versatile singer and performer, and this album shows us his human side apart from the image he conveys in the band. It's a great album to just "chill" to.
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Format: Audio CD
Nearly a quarter century since the release of his band's debut, the vocalist for Depeche Mode finally decides to release his solo album. And you know what? It's actually quite good. For over 20 years, Dave Gahan was the voice of the Mode, but he never wrote so much as a note of the music he sang. Now, for the first time ever, he assumes the duty of songwriter, and with help of producer Ken Thomas (who previously worked with Sigur Ros), he comes up with "Paper Monsters." The album offers 10 tracks of guitar-laced electronica that represents a step forward from the dark synth pop of DM. The opener and debut single, "Dirty Sticky Floors" is a nice combo of drum loops, rough guitars, and Gahan's familiar moan, while "Bottle Living" sounds like a metaphor for alcoholism (Gahan himself is a recovering addict following a nasty fling with drugs back in the 1990s). As a lyricist, Gahan isn't going to make anyone forget about Martin L. Gore, but he makes particularly strong impressions on tracks like the mellowed out "I Need You" and "Black and Blue Again," a tale of a relationship gone wrong. This is an overall impressive solo release; it doesn't stray too far from his DM roots and yet it manages to present Gahan in a fresh new light. "Paper Monsters" is available in a limited edition package with a bonus DVD. As supplemental music DVDs go, this one is a nice set. There's a short documentary featuring interviews with Gahan, who discusses the making of his solo album, as well as the nice music video to the single "Dirty Sticky Floors." We also get additional backstage footage, acoustic performances of the songs "Hold On" and "A Little Piece," and a photo gallery by the brilliant Anton Corbijn. "Paper Monsters" is really a 4-star record, but I'm giving it an extra star for the DVD, which makes it an even more attractive deal for Depeche Mode fans.
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Format: Audio CD
I don't normally do reviews unless I am passionate about the subject. So Here we go. First off, This is a great album, a wonderful solo effort to show what Dave can do. IF you are looking for Depeche Mode'ish' type music, you can read as much or as little into as you have the time. He was a member of Depeche Mode for 20 years so it does have some influence on his musical style.
That said, this album gets high marks just for being different. This sounds like the work of a man at peace with his wild and tragic past, and at home with being a dad and husband. I will admit it took a few listenings to get used to it. But it is a frequent player in my CD player. I work graveyards and get to wear headphones and listen to tunes all night. It is a great CD for headphones. Dave has obviously spent alot of time and effort to come up with his own sound and style. This album overall has more slow songs then "dance" ones, but those ones really rock. The slow ones seep into your brain over time. Overall, this is one excellent CD, a great first time solo effort and I look forward to more. I was also able to catch Dave's appearance on the Jimmy Kimmel show, and he completely rocked the place. Any questions of him being able to still perform live should be put to rest now. This album is great for anyone, new to Depeche Mode or not. Give it a chance, you will like it.
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Format: Audio CD
It's typical that a novelist's first work be condemned to autobiography -- and that's exactly what listeners get out of Dave Gahan's solo release, Paper Monsters. A cardinal rule of writing, write what you know, these songs are raw, gritty and well-grounded. Dave is writing about his life, his struggles, his problems, and ultimately, his findings, while Martin Gore's lyrics tend to deal with life intelligently, on a conceptual and spiritual level. The difference between Dave and Martin's lyrics, you might say, is the difference between a lesson in life and wisdom. For those of you disappointed with lyrical quality of Dave's release, cherish Paper Monsters as a rare moment when a celebrated muscian lets you into the nitty-gritty of his life. This is a 300 paged biography summed up in an hour's worth of good music. And his second release, I'm confident, won't sound anything like this at all.
Musically, I'm surprised how much the music resembles Poe's second release, Haunted, than any Depeche Mode album. When I bought the album I was honestly expecting a sound akin to Songs of Faith and Devotion, Dave's favorite DM project, especially since he threatened to leave the band after touring Violator and gained artistic authority over the production of SOFAD. Not quite. I really wish he would have dug deeper into the blues -- more guitar, more drums, more harmonica -- and stayed away from the synthesizers that have encouraged comparisons to Ultra and Exciter.
Overall I give it 4 stars: 5 for the lyrics and 3 for the music. Congrats Dave. This is a mighty successful debut, I've got third row seats to see you in San Antonio and look forward to hearing more. Please keep coming back.
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