Review Summary: A very underrated and lost album in Depeche Mode's vault. It shows their early 80's charm and their strive toward modernizing in sound and style. You can hint at Martin Gore's brilliant song writing about the world around him as he inches toward the darke
Construction Time Again- A forgotten masterpiece
Alan Wilder officially joins the band after performing live with the group in the Broken Frame Tour, and the production and quality goes up. This album is when DM matured as far as sound and collaboration. No more were the songs fast paced and simple, now they were at the point where they were large and powerful. This album comes off as more political than any other of their albums (Some Great Reward has some political themes) and it’s very insightful and does this well, however it seems lost because 99% of DM’s style is about unrequitted love and that’s the direction they will move in after this. But I love political songs so much and again, DM does it greatly. I think this album is very underrated, but I will say it is the worst in Alan Wilder’s time, which isn’t saying a lot.
LOVE, IN ITSELF- The first song that really has that DM thump, that collaborative harmony you are used to. I really love this song, it never gets old. It's so 80's which creates great nostalgia.
MORE THAN A PARTY- A very, very fast paced song that is frantic in tone. It’s very catchy and fun but toward the end you may feel a heaache coming on. It has pretty strange lyrics too.
PIPELINE- An impressive Martin Gore solo that is amazing and dark, outlining socialistic needs. The industrial clinging brings one to a railroad tunnel. It may go on a little too long, but it's still great and creative.
EVERYTHING COUNTS- The anthem of this album, one of my favorite DM songs to this day. Wonderful in every way, beautiful lyrics, an absolute masterpiece. The song flows so well and never gets old, revealing the greediness of corporations in the form of insightful metaphors and catchy choruses.
TWO MINUTE WARNING- Alan Wilder wrote this song that seems to be about government paranoia during the Cold War. At first I thought this song was kind of boring, but it has really grown on me and I like it a lot.
SHAME- A very slow and steady song. The lyrics in this song make you really think about how cruel the word is. Very underrated song. The sounds depict confusion and lament.
THE LANDSCAPE IS CHANGING- A wonderful Alan Wilder song about saving the environment. The lyrics are great and the beat is fun. "Mountains and valleys, can you hear them sighing?"... great lyric.
TOLD YOU SO- My favorite song on the album, it’s very upbeat and danceable, plus dark and appears to be about religion. I love it to death and never skip it, should have been a single.
AND THEN..- A forgettable song only because it’s at the end, but it is beautiful, much like “The Sun and the Rainfall” was. The song is about rebuilding the world, and it really makes me feel things inside. "I'll have faith, or I prefer... to think that things couldn't turn out worse.." A part of "Everything Counts" is placed near the end of the song to remind the listener of the album's anthem as the record comes to a close.
GET THE BALANCE RIGHT- A single that was released before the LP and never made the cut. It's an interesting song that appears to be about balance in society, but it kind of retains some of that A Broken Frame Atari sound. The video is pretty corny as well.
THE GREAT OUTDOORS- Probably the weirdest and creepiest song Depeche Mode has ever created. This instrumental B-side to "Get the Balance Right" was written by both Gore and Wilder and it is so odd and eerie that every listen puts me in a dark and confusing place. I guess that makes it all the more interesting.
WORK HARD- I love this song to death. It has that industrial thud that denotes working one's ass off to an oppressive society. The beat is danceable and is all around a great B-side to "Everything Counts".
FOOLS- The B-side to "Love, in Itself", written by Alan Wilder. It's an interesting song with an unclear meaning. It has a nice industrial feel.
Cover Art: The image really captures this album’s feel, a hardworker on top of a mountain. The political and environmental themes of this record go perfectly with the art.
A great album that sets DM in the right direction. I would say that if you’re not a DM fan but you want to hear DM’s early 80s style music, get it, or Some Great Reward. But if you’re looking for the best work, this album is too early. I really like it though, and it’s a lost masterpiece that doesn’t get the attention it deserves.