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soulsavers thelightthedeadsee
Artist: Soulsavers feat. Dave Gahan
Title: The Light The Dead See
Genre: Rock/ Pop/ Blues
Release Date: 18th May 2012
Label: Cooperative Music/V2 Records

Album Review

In the last few years, DAVE GAHAN has always given in to solo ambitions when his main band DEPECHE MODE was on its typical 4-year break. The results were his solo albums 'Paper Monsters' (2003) and 'Hourglass', released 2007. This time, after DEPECHE MODE's 'Sounds of the Universe' and before Gahan returned to the studio with band mates Martin L. Gore and Andrew Fletcher, the charismatic singer collaborated with the British producer duo SOULSAVERS. Rich Machin and Ian Glover aka SOULSAVERS have a long tradition in working with various guest vocalists. Mike Patton (FAITH NO MORE), Jason Pierce (SPIRITUALIZED), Richard Hawley, Will Oldham and Gibby Haynes (BUTTHOLE SURFERS) are some of the notable singers the SOULSAVERS have worked with so far on their first three albums. The most eminent collaborator has been Mark Lanegan (ex-SCREAMING TREES, QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE) who was the primary vocalist on the second SOULSAVERS album, the fantastic 'It's Not How Far You Fall, It's the Way You Land'. Lanegan also lend his voice for a couple of songs on long-player number three, 'Broken'.

And now, album number four with Dave Gahan singing all the songs as well as delivering all of the lyrics. The lead vocalist of the world's biggest Synth Pop band working with a band like SOULSAVERS might look like an unlikely combination for outsiders. The collaboration between Gahan and SOULSAVERS is less of a surprise when you know that SOULSAVERS supported DEPECHE MODE on their 2009 tour. And in fact the dark, raw and solemn Blues Rock of SOULSAVERS should be pretty much after Gahan's fancy and personal tastes. And after all, DEPECHE MODE's music has many elements from Blues and Gospel, as an album like 'Songs of Faith & Devotion' or songs like 'The Bottom Line' (from 'Ultra') or 'The Sweetest Condition' (from 'Exciter') proves. There are numerous other examples for this in DEPECHE MODE's back catalogue - including the global hit 'Personal Jesus'.

'The Light the Dead See' is musically a typical SOULSAVERS production. The music is in a weird way grandiose and downbeat at the same time and Machin and Glover fully act out their love for opulent orchestrations, melancholic strings and bluesy hymns. The only thing that makes this SOULSAVERS album perhaps a bit brighter and lighter than previous works is Dave Gahan's clean and poignant voice. Perhaps his vocals are also the only thing which could draw a bit of criticism. I'm a massive DEPECHE MODE fan, so I love his voice for sure, and technically speaking Gahan delivers some of his best efforts of his career on this record. But at times there seems to be a bit too much emotionalism and bathos. I had the idea that Gahan sounds a bit too overambitious in some moments, as if he felt he had something to prove. To be blunt: Sometime he sounds a bit cheesy. Maybe it's just that I prefer the dark, subdued baritone of earlier DEPECHE MODE songs when it comes to Dave Gahan and the raspy and gruff vocal style of Mark Lanegan when it comes to SOULSAVERS.

But there are many moments when music and vocals are in a perfect marriage. The chorus of 'Presence of God' is such a moment, the fragility of Gahan's singing and the strings are just heart-rending. The bleak ballad 'Just Try' is even better and even more touching, surely one of the highlights of the album. And of course there's the hymnist 'Longest Day', which was made available as a free download and free stream before the album release - perhaps today's equivalent of releasing a single. 'The Light the Dead See' is a perfect album for rainy Sunday you spent alone in front of the window watching the grey sky… those times when you simply need some sepulchral, bluesy music for consolation. And in these moments you will not analyse if Gahan might sound a bit cheesy here and there, you will simply enjoy the elegance of his voice paired with the dark majesty of SOULSAVERS musical brilliance.


01. La Ribera
02. In The Morning
03. Longest Day
04. Presence of God
05. Just Try
06. Gone Too Far
07. Point Sur Pt.1
08. Take Me Back Home
09. Bitterman
10. I Can't Stay
11. Take
12. Tonight


Dave Gahan (vocals, lyrics)
Rich Machin (instruments, production)
Ian Glover (instruments, production)


Cover Picture

soulsavers thelightthedeadsee


Music: 9
Sound: 9
Extras: -
Total: 9 / 10

Buy the album here!

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