Martin Gore | MG (Mute)

MG sqThis album lacks style and form, two things Gore is usually quite good at.


Synthesizer phenom and the root of the writing of Depeche Mode, Martin Gore has released his second solo effort, MG. As a huge DM fan, I was greatly anticipating this release. Martin Gore is one hell of a songwriter and all-around musical talent. However, this album, while well-written and performed, is a grave disappointment.

All 16 tracks here are completely instrumental. One wonders why, when Gore is such a superb lyricist and master melody maker, he would eschew vocals altogether and make such a depressing, noise-ridden collection of songs. The album is too long, and ultimately anticlimactic.

Every proficient songwriter goes through what is known as a “selfish phase,” creating music simply for themselves, with no thought given to what the fans will feel about it. This is just such a release. While the album is well-played and slickly produced by Gore himself, the lack of vocals makes for a dreary listen after the first few tracks.

As for the material itself, it is more on the ethereal side, with lots of synths dubbed over one another. It seems as though the album was completed and the budget ran short of vocal tracks. A few of the songs seem almost like the soundtrack to a forgotten movie. Tracks like “Featherlight” and “Creeper” put one in the mind of films like Flash Gordon and Tron.

This album lacks style and form, two things Gore is usually quite good at. With the addition of the right vocals, this album could really shine. With his track record, Gore could hand-pick any vocalist he wanted; unfortunately, he chose none, and that is the downfall of this album.

Hopefully, the artist has gotten over his selfish phase, and will return to the helm of the next Depeche Mode album. He is best when surrounded by his DM cohorts, writing powerful and danceable electronica tunes. D | Marc Farr

About Marc Farr 244 Articles
Marc Farr is the Live Music & Assignments Editor of PLAYBACK:stl. He's so invaluable to us, we've nicknamed him Mr. Music. Reach out if you have coverage ideas! "I know it's only rock and roll...but I like it!"
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