I was always a way bigger fan of Depeche Mode than U2. I still remember the day I decided to become a Depeche Mode fan instead of U2. It was sort of like the day I decided to become a Blur fan instead of an Oasis fan. I know many people like both bands. I have many friends who like both U2 and Depeche Mode. But for me, I felt like it had to be one or the other. My brother was the U2 fan in the family, so that was probably the main reason I decided to turn my back on U2. To this day I have never really understood everybody's fascination with U2. I think U2 did end up becoming the more popular of the 2 bands. They both still have huge followings. Both are on a short list of rock bands from the 80's that can still sell out huge arena tours and sell tons of albums. U2's first album Boy came out in 1980. No Line On the Horizon is out this week and is the band's 12th album. Depeche Mode's first album Speak and Spell came out in 1981. Their new album, Sounds of the Universe, is also their 12th album. U2 beat them by about a year with their first album and are now beating them by about a month with their 12th album. Anton Corbijn obviously could not make up his mind like I did-- I think he likes both bands equally. He seems to have done almost every video and photo shoot for both bands. I probably will not even get around to hearing the new U2 album, but I am curious how the fans are receiving it. They are one of those bands who put out an album and the longtime fans just automatically buy it. I am the same way with Depeche Mode. I am seriously counting down the days until the new album comes out -- April 21st. Only 47 days to go! But the new single is ready for you to listen to at least. I actually heard it on KROQ for the first time a couple of weeks ago. I probably heard "People are People" for the first time on KROQ as well, many years ago. I may not be a U2 fan, but I do love the U2 fans almost as much as I love the longtime Depeche Mode fans. I sort of stand with them in solidarity. It is not always easy to stand by a band for 28 years, but they make it worth it. Depeche Mode is one of those bands that I can't imagine my life without. One of those bands that we all have been made fun of for liking but also a band that has given us a whole new set of friends and a sort of musical solidarity with each other.
Here is the video for the new Depeche Mode single "Wrong"...
Out last week was the new album by Gui Boratto. It is called Take My Breath Away. It is one of those albums that I actually wish there were some vocals on, or maybe a two disc version that included the album as it is now but also a version with vocals. I just fell in love with the song "Beautiful Life" from his first album Chromophobia, and I really do mean that I just fell in love with that song like a couple of days ago. My love affair with the music of Gui Boratto has been very exciting and sudden. Gui Boratto and I are actually the exact same age...not that it has anything to do with anything, but it is always interesting to me to find people born the same year as me. I feel like we share some sort of cosmic connection since we have been on the earth the same amount of years. We have lived through the same history of music. It is like when you find somebody who is born in your same home town but you don't meet them until you are in your thirties. The album takes a while to grown on you, but it can all happen in a couple of days if you listen to it a bunch. The album sort of takes you on a little musical journey. I do love instrumental albums and vocals do tend to mess up some great dance and electronica records, but I was just expecting some vocals on here. Once I moved beyond that I started to really like the album. Some of the songs really stand out and others you just sort of float through. The song "Besides" is sort of a reinterpration of a Cure or New Order song. I also really like the song "Les Enfants" which is right before that. The songs are long so make sure you wait until track 7 and 8 before you make up your mind about this album. The album could easily be a sort of new age soundtrack album. Some of it reminds me of Vangelis or Tangerine Dream or Klaus Schulze. But it doesn't necessarily sound like it was made 30 years ago, it just has elements of that. It also reminds me of the reasons that I love M83. But maybe I am just thinking about M83 a lot lately since I am going to see them on Saturday. It is music you could easily just listen to without paying much attention. It would just float in out of you and let you get along with your projects and help you work out your thoughts, but then every once in a while you stop and realize that one of the songs is really fantastic. There are also some great dancier tracks on the album. And the album ends with a somber sort of downer of a song --but it is a nice ending. It might take you back down, but it also gets you ready to just start the whole album over again. He also comes right before Hall & Oates on my computer, so it is a very interesting transition for me at least.
I also fell in love with some other electronica albums this week. My coworker passed the Sebastian Tellier album on to me as a recommendation. It came out about a month ago. The album is called Sexuality and has one of the best album covers of the year so far. The album is super fun and I highly recommend it to anyone needing some fun in their life. It is an especially nice album to listen to at night while walking or driving around the city. It reminds me a whole lot of Giorgio Moroder. I only use this as a compliment, but it might also serve as a warning for you to stay away. The songs on here could have easily been included on the soundtracks to Flashdance or Top Gun. One of the stand out tracks for me is "Une Heure." It has everything you loved or hated about those 80s film anthems. Just think about what Giorgio Moroder did with Berlin for "Take My Breath Away" on the Top Gun Sountrack. I think it is genius and can't stop listening to it. It is sort of making fun of a genre and paying respect to it at the same time. It is like when you really love a movie because it is so bad but you also end up falling in love with the genius of it. The song "Sexual Sportswear" is also brilliant. There are no vocals on this track but it is probably my favorite. I also have been listening to the song "Manty" over and over again -- it's a bit of Ultravox and Sparks mixed with Visage and Falco. Just a perfect song.
I also just came across the latest Bomb the Bass album. It is calle Future Chaos and came out at the end of last year. Gui Borrato actually does one of the remixes on the second disc of the album. Bomb the Bass has been around for about 20 years now, but the album is probably not what you would expect. I guess it is not uncommon to get guest vocalists on your albums. That is what probably happens with most electronica artists who want to expand their horizons and get some different vocal styles to enhance their music. He uses Jon Spencer, Mark Lanegan, and Fujiya & Miyagi on the album. While I am still very scared of this new Chris Cornell project with TImbaland, the Mark Lanegan song actually works. The song is "Black River" and this is the song that Gui Borrato remixes. Just in case you didn't know, Chris Cornell has a new album out next week. It is called Scream and is produced by Timbaland. I know it is hard to believe, but Chris Cornell from Soundgarden has made a dance R & B album with Timbaland. It is true. The album could easily be the next Justin Timberlake album...but with Chris Cornell it just doesn't work. I sort of almost respect him for trying, but it is very frightening. You have to hear it to believe it. The whole album does not sound this bad, but skip ahead to listen to the final track "Watch Out." I don't know. Maybe it will grow on me like the really bad things you like to make fun of that you end up loving.
Many exciting albums in the next couple of weeks...
3/10 Cursive, Tim Hecker
3/24 Royksopp, O+S, Decemberists, Mono
3/31 Maria Taylor
4/7 Lady Sovereign
4/21 Depeche Mode
also out 2/24...
200 Million Thousand by Black Lips
White Bird Release by Pan American
also out 3/3...
Middle Cyclone by Neko Case
Accept the Juice/Whole Loto Love by Phantom Limbs
Invaders Must Die by The Prodigy
Sex-O Olympic-O by The Revolting Cocks
No Line on the Horizon by U2
The Watchmen Soundtrack