11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Who Watches Over Me (Audio CD)
That this album isn't out in the U.S., despite Mesh's signing to Columbia, is a crime. Should you spend $36.49 on the import? Arguably not: for that kind of money, you'd really expect the album to come complete with illicit drugs. Then again, as of this writing, the minimum used price was down to $14.60 -- and, folks, that's a steal, because this is one of the finest albums ever made within its genre. Nothing against Iris, Wolfsheim, De/Vision, Camouflage, et al., but this U.K. trio have hereby thrown down the gauntlet and topped everything that their fellow Depeche Mode updaters have accomplished. With a nod to the title of Mesh's previous work, this is the point at which it has all come together.
The fun starts with "Leave You Nothing" and "Friends Like These," which are easily Mesh's finest singles to date. This album's treasures hardly stop there, though. Just listen to "I Can't Imagine How It Hurts" -- the marvelous timbre changes on the main synth figure, the complex and subtle percussion (including the nifty ride cymbal on the verse), the gorgeous transitions from minor to major and back -- and tell me that these guys don't have their songwriting, programming, and production alike down to an art.
Granted, not everything here is unassailable. In particular, the dance-industrial tracks ("Firefly," "Retaliation," and "What Does It Cost You?") don't really add much to what's been done better before, and "Razorwire" is pretty much a waste of 3:58 no matter how you classify it. No matter. The other two-thirds of the album more than make up for it, from the savage political commentary of "Little Missile" to the self-effacing introspectiveness of "Four Walls" to the closing catharsis of "The Trouble We're In."
If there's been a better "dark synth" album since DM's _Violator_, I'm not aware of it -- and this one stacks up impressively against even that landmark. After three or four full-lengths (depending on how you count), Mesh have made one for the ages. Buy it. Buy it now.