Picks and Pans Review: Black Celebration

updated 06/02/1986 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 06/02/1986 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Depeche Mode

Welcome to the machine shop. This British quartet, with all hands playing synthesizers, sports a stridently mechanical sound. Lead singer David Gahan has a boring, if earnest, voice. Those deficiencies put a lot of pressure on songwriter Martin Gore to come up with rhythmic and melodic ideas powerful enough to generate interest. On Black Celebration, Gore succeeds here and there. The European single hit Stripped, and A Question of Time, with its tumbling riff, have some dance potential. But most of the album is more on the not-terribly-enjoyable side. Even the lyrics are dismal, as in Fly On the Windscreen-Final: "Death is everywhere/There are lambs for the slaughter." Enough already, guys. Lighten up. (Sire/Warner Bros.)

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