Infective voice. Potent appearance. Sincere desire for all kinds of pleasures. On top of that, being the lead singer of Depeche Mode. Dave Gahan is collaborating with Soulsavers for the second time in order to investigate sound that is more rock than the one present in his more famous band. He is also challenging himself as a writer.
Angel and Ghosts sound like the lost record of Depeche Mode. This is both its advantage and its flaw.
Life of Dave Gahan can be described – from successor of Keith Richards when it comes to self-destruction to successor of Keith Richard when it comes to winning the battle over inner demons. This man can change his name to Ve-Gahan. Dave’s life odyssey is very inspiring for writing songs about being left, being together again, dissatisfaction, wandering, sweet sins or passion. When man writes lyrics on this topics, then we get an authentic record. Angel and Ghosts continues where The Light and The Dead See stopped. Stories from perspective of restless wanderer with blues, gospel, electronic and dark pop flavor.
Those who adored Depeche Mode in the period of Songs of Faith and Devotion are going to clap their hands when they listen to the opening Shine. Even though it has great guitar sections, it is not as raw as dark world of addictions, unreturned love and emptiness is. Gahan sounds tamed, like he is sitting in his chair and remembers his struggling days, thinking l.Wel, I like my life better now
While The Light and The Dead See charged its strength from the chemistry of Gahan and Soulsavers, there are no surprises here. Everyone knows what they can expect. Tracks are solid but there are no Condemnation or I Feel For You that are going to cross the line and cause anxiety in the listener who is left wondering whether Gahan is going to survive the catharsis and see a brighter day.
Even Delta Machine, the last album by Depeche Mode had moments where boys were risking by reaching for an inspiration in dark impulses of their minds. This doesn’t mean Angels and Ghosts is not listenable. On the contrary, it is a very nice album. The only flaw is that it sounds like we have kind of heard it all before. And we heard it better.