Origine du Groupe : U.K
Style : Alternative
Sortie : 2003
By Michael Idov from http://pitchfork.com/reviews
Not unlike his Stateside namesake Al, Martin Gore knows all about being number two. Having served as Depeche Mode's sole songwriter for two full decades (I know-- weird), he appears more or less content with his role as the band's introverted mastermind; Dave Gahan, for his part of the bargain, gets the fame and the occasional overdose.
Gore's modesty, as it turns out, extends to his solo outings. It just so happens that his and Gahan's albums came out a mere month apart, which would normally trigger reams of tedious comparison-and-contrast between the band's "brain" and its "voice." Luckily, Counterfeit 2 pre-empts any such discussion. It's a covers album.
That's right, the man decided to maneuver around his one universally acknowledged talent (songwriting), instead lending his thin and dull voice to eleven compositions by the likes of Nick Cave, Iggy Pop and even Kurt Weill. Moreover, he's not even doing it for the first time. That "2" in the title is not there for oddity's sake-- it denotes a sequel: the first Counterfeit, an EP, came out back in 1989.
This conceit is pretty disarming, you have to admit. For one thing, we can't accuse Gore of trying to sell records. For another, Martin's got a decent taste in other people's music. I can imagine a worse way to spend an hour than listening to intelligently arranged, if antiseptic, versions of "Oh My Love" and "Candy Says". Overall, from its (genuinely?) self-deprecating title on down, Counterfeit 2 correctly presents itself as a box of hobbyish bric-a-brac for friends and completists. It is on that scale that we should judge it.
The one big surprise here: a version of David Essex's "Stardust". Less a cover than a rescue operation, Gore's take imbues a piece of glam nonsense with sadness and gravitas. Brian Eno's "By This River" sounds most like a Depeche Mode song-- circa Black Celebration no less-- albeit with the obligatory 2K glitchy-twitchy production. This should shock no one, since Eno at his poppiest and DM at their most experimental are almost rubbing elbows (plus, he produced them. Duh).
Those searching for the inevitable big blunder, look no further than a pastiche of Nick Cave's crude epic "Loverman". Clearly infatuated with the original, Gore forsakes reinvention for impersonation. Picture Cave's trademark bombast ("There's a devil crawling on your floor...Give him more/ Give him more") and then imagine it issuing forth from Gore's genteel larynx. Bad idea. Needless to say, this is the longest song on the record, clocking in at 7:02.
Elsewhere, a Nico cover ("Das Lied Vom Einsamen Mddchen") and a detour into Kurt Weill fakebook fare better than you would imagine: there was always a vague whiff of the cabaret about Depeche Mode. Now is probably the time to confess that one of my recurring adolescent fantasies was "DM Unplugged", with candles, a string quartet, a Johnny Cash cameo on "Personal Jesus", Gahan firmly seated in a Gothic chair, and a grinning Gore behind a baby grand. I still think it's a great idea.
1. In My Time of Dying
3. I Cast a Lonesome Shadow
4. In My Other World
6. By This River
7. Lost in the Stars
8. Oh My Love
9. Das Lied vom einsamen Mädchen
10. Tiny Girls
11. Candy Says
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