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Dave Gahan: Hourglass

Album: Hourglass
Label: Mute/Virgin

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Made with the assistance of a pair of auxiliary Depeche Mode members, Dave Gahan's second solo disc should find love from anyone who can recite from memory the albums after Songs Of Faith And Devotion. Everyone else will be indifferent. That doesn't mean it deserves to be ignored—two decades removed from his band's creative peak, Gahan has actually made one of the year's best-sounding electronic releases, containing a surprisingly small number of cringe-inducing moments. Gahan's voice is still great, and he's still delivering big statements like "I don't believe in miracles, and they happen every day / I don't believe in Jesus, but I'm praying anyway." But when all is said and done, Hourglass simply lacks the exciting moments that got him here. A major exception is "A Little Lie," whose hook is like a mechanized version of the sax in The Psychedelic Furs' "Dumb Waiters." But trapped down at track nine, it feels like an anomaly.