While being a 30-year-old music journalist can be more than a bit frustrating (if not downright maddening) in the age of the largely non-paying blogosphere, being asked to cover a personal hero, who soundtracked my formative years, is still, admittedly, quite exciting and quite flattering… especially when they’re willing to send a Luddite like myself a CD copy… Such excitement applies (to a profound degree) to my coverage of MG, the self-titled debut of the newly-monikered Martin Gore (which is out this Tuesday, April 28th, courtesy of Mute)… founding member and primary songwriter of Depeche Mode, whose 2001 summer tour remains not only one of the best concerts I’ve ever experienced (out of several thousand), but the perfectly poignant existential accompaniment to my earliest experiences of “love” and “lust.”
MG sees Martin delving into somewhat different territory from the ineffably infectious and sing-alongable synthpop that he wrote for Depeche Mode. The album is comprised of electronic instrumentals… It is an extension of sorts of his work in VCMG, a duo composed of himself and Depeche Mode alum Vince Clarke, that began in 2011, and had the songwriters exploring contemporary electronic music, in addition to the kinds of instrumental soundscapes that always underscored DM’s futuristic pop tunes. The album — which is arguably Gore’s best works since Depeche Mode’s Playing the Angel dropped a decade ago – features 16 tracks, which would seem to form the soundtrack to a futuristic dystopia of sorts, profoundly unsettling in an incredibly sexy, cinematic fashion. And while it may be hard to dance to, there’s something nice about knowing that a childhood hero and once-musical-revolutionary, now well into middle age, is still capable of legitimately frightening you.