Release Year: 1989
Martin Gore is known as the baby faced songwriter for Depeche Mode, but in 1989 he ventured out on his own for his debut solo EP during a band hiatus. Rather than dishing out some new material Gore covers six songs and he does a great job at making them his own. One of the best and catchiest tracks is “Compulsion” with feel good upbeat synth and Gore’s unmistakable falsetto vocals. For the most part all of the songs are good from the somber “In A Manner of Speaking” to the creepy and slightly disturbing “Smile in the Crowd.” The only dull track is “Never Turn Your Back on Mother Earth,” which sounds like an overblown message to protect the planet. It’s really sappy, wishy washy, and downright boring.
A big issue with the EP is the music. It sounds fucking awesome, but no matter how hard you try you can’t help but make comparisons to Depeche Mode. “Gone” and the other songs all have synth and new wave elements that remind you of the band’s earlier material. It makes it hard to distinguish Gore’s own work from what he’s done with the band, but it’s still an interesting listen. This is must have for any Gore addicts out there and DM fans are sure to like it too, but with familiar music and lack of new songs, it can’t outrun Depeche Mode’s shadow.