The Amazon review that postulates that "Black Celebration" was the album thousands of dyed hair and make-up kids in the late 80's poured their alienated hearts out over hits it square on the head. "Black Celebration" is almost unmatched in its relentless gloom-mongering and only on the closing "But not Tonight" does the tone turn even vaguely optimistic. (Oddly enough, it's the one song to which the lyrics are omitted.) Not that the music wasn't outstanding. That was the main attraction about the richer sounding "Black Celebration." The state of the synthesizer had risen considerably since "Some Great Reward," and the breakthrough of Compact Discs had just begun. It brought a fuller sound out of Depeche Mode and gave them more room to deepen -- or maybe darken -- their sound. They had also stumbled into areas when less meant more, as the haunting "Stripped" exemplifies.
Just because the mood was dark also did not mean "Black Celebration" stayed mired in dirges. The frantic tempo of "A Question of Time" continued DM's ongoing string of modern rock dance singles, keeping them astride the likes of New Order and positioning them as the anti-Duran Duran. (Even though all three of these bands were at their creative peaks in this period.) The DM videos were getting better and it was just one more album before all three bands were world wide massive stars at the same time!!! (Duran Duran with "Big Thing," New Order with "Substance" and Depeche Mode with "Violator.") It was certainly heady times for lovers of synth-rock, and "Black Celebration" remains one of my favorite CDs from that period.