Martin L Gore - Counterfeit 2

Just as Dave Gahan is about to release a solo album, another Depeche Mode member Martin L Gore has his album out too. A collection of songs which have touched Martin deeply over the years from a diverse selection of songwriters, performers and artistes. It was recorded in Martin's own recording studio at home in California and is a follow up to his first "Counterfeit" release in 1989. While that was merely an EP this recording is a more ambitious affair as it's a full scale album undertaking.

Fans of Depeche Mode will recognize themes of aching vulnerability and lustful longing in these songs of faith and devotion. "In My Time Of Dying" has a suitable softly sung vocal and sparse instrumentation. The purposeful low key electronica gives this track a modern sound which was originally credited to blue legend Blind Willie Johnson under the title "Jesus Make Up My Dying Bed" and was later recorded by both Bob Dylan and Led Zeppelin. "I Cast A Lonesome Shadow" is a dark edged and unsettling song with bleak lyrics and a synth backing. It was originally a vintage country track by Hank Thompson give a radically left field interpretation by Gore. "Loverman" is a Nick Cave cover, partly sung and partly spoken. While the original was a lusty blues howler this version is transformed to a sexually charged trip-hop juggernaut of manicured malevolence. "Oh My Love" was written by John Lennon and Yoko Ono and Gore's put a typical texture of synthesizers on it with his vocal sounding lot like Erasure's Andy Bell on this song. Iggy Pop's "Tiny Girls" has a backwards solo by Peter Gordeno and is another original cover by Martin L Gore.

"Counterfeit 2" is an album you admire rather enjoy. It tried a little too hard at being original and ground breaking yet appears to be humourless, charmless and really rather pretentious. Gore hasn't really got the range to tackle a lot of these songs yet equips himself rather well. For the most dedicated fans fo Depeche Mode only - approach with extreme caution.

Nicholas Paul Godkin

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