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CoryRay (The Twin Cities, MN)

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Void
Void
Offered by Vanderbilt CA
Price: CDN$ 35.78
8 used & new from CDN$ 16.84

3.0 out of 5 stars Void of...something, April 27 2004
This review is from: Void (Audio CD)
I'm a huge fan of De/Vision...but for some reason this album just does not click with me like the others. I'm not sure what it is. It's definitely more "alternative" and experimental, which is not always a bad thing...but in this case it's not a good thing. The songs lack the catchiness and seduction of other D/V albums. I don't particularly hate any of the songs - I just don't LOVE any of them. "Foreigner," "Self-Deception," "Re-Invent Yourself," and "Anywhere" are probably my favorites, but they are nowhere near as good as classics like "Drifting Sideways," "Heart-Shaped Tumor," "Dinner Without Grace," "Sweet Life," "We Fly...Tonight," "All I Ever Do," "Miss You More," "Try To Forget," or the original version of "Blue Moon"(just to name a few). If you are new to De/Vision, you might want to start with "Fairyland," "Monosex," "Two," or "Devolution" (my favorites by far). But get "Void" to complete your collection.

Sensor
Sensor
Offered by dodax-online
Price: CDN$ 12.27
20 used & new from CDN$ 11.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Good album by Depeche Mode...er, Camouflage, April 15 2004
This review is from: Sensor (Audio CD)
My only exposure to Camouflage prior to ordering "Sensor" was the greatest hits collection, "We Stroke the Flames." I enjoyed some of that cd, but was not over-the-top impressed. "Sensor," on the other hand, was a pleasant surprise. It's a very mature, polished album, and most of the songs clicked instantly. The slow songs in particular (which comprise the majority of the album) are very moody and atmospheric, which I like. The more upbeat songs are catchy and nicely produced, too. My major complaint is that a couple of the songs are such obvious amalgamations of DM songs. I have no problem with bands being influenced by other bands. Obviously - that's natural. Most of the music I listen to was heavily influenced by DM. But take the song "I'll Follow Behind"...basically, it is a rehashing of DM's "It's No Good" (as a previous reviewer mentioned). "I Can't Feel You" has heavy heavy DM influence as well. Nonetheless, these are both great songs and are actually two of my faves from the album. The song "Perfect" is a good song, too, but could fit easily onto De/Vision's "Void" album. "Blink" is sorta weird and feels a little out of place (and has elements of DM's "Comatose"). I also think that "Me and You" is highly overrated. It's actually one of my least favorites from the album. It sounds to me like a generic prototype of what modern synthpop is, more or less. And the lyrics are quite goofy ("it's me and you / revolutionary true / colors will fade / from night to day / to something new"). I think they just need to build on their more unique sounds and drop a bit of the DM imitation, even though they are good at it. Overall, this is a very good album and it's gotten lots of play from me. Any fan of synthpop (especially DM-esque stuff) will surely enjoy it. Highlights are "Harmful," Here She Comes," "I Can't Feel You," "I'll Follow Behind," "Thief," and "Together."

Ultra
Ultra
18 used & new from CDN$ 0.41

5.0 out of 5 stars Absolute perfection, April 14 2004
This review is from: Ultra (Audio CD)
Quite simply, this is one of the best albums ever made. You'd have to be crazy to love Depeche Mode and not think this album is one of the pinnacles of their career. This album is as good in every way as Violator - if not better. There isn't one bad track. As with all their albums, there is such a plethora of moods and sounds throughout, yet it all contains a subtle dark quality that no one pulls off quite like DM. This has remained one of my favorite all-time CDs since its release. Three of the absolute best songs ever made appear here: "Home," "Useless," and the much underrated "Freestate." "Home" is one of the most beautiful songs ever written, giving me tingles still today with its breathtaking chorus, and is Martin's best vocal performance to date. "Useless" is just brilliant, with trippy synths, great guitar work, and great lyrics. "Freestate" is one of the most unique DM songs ever, using slide guitar, a sweeping intro that induces images of a lonely desert highway, a kickin' electronic beat, and some of the best lyrics to ever grace a song (I could almost swear it was written just for me). If you can't get past the lack of Alan Wilder or the goth look Dave was sporting during this album, then you truly are missing out on a true masterpiece. This album has helped me convert many many friends into DM fans. I couldn't live without it.

Who Watches Over Me?
Who Watches Over Me?
Offered by Vanderbilt CA
Price: CDN$ 157.95
3 used & new from CDN$ 152.95

5.0 out of 5 stars The beautiful lovechild of DM and NIN., April 14 2004
This review is from: Who Watches Over Me? (Audio CD)
My introduction to Mesh was The Point At Which It Falls Apart. I had read some good reviews of it and happened to spot it in a used CD shop, so I picked it up. I have to say I was disappointed. I thought it was highly overrated. However, I could tell the band had a lot of potential, so I picked up Who Watches Over Me despite my reluctance. WWOM is leaps and bounds above TPAWIFA. This album didn't leave my player for months. As my title suggests, the sound is a pleasant marriage of Depeche Mode's amazing synthwork and songwriting and Nine Inch Nails' raw dark edge. It doesn't stray much from the general sound of their previous releases, but now the sound has been perfected and is simply...better. I immediately fell in love with tracks like "To Be Alive," "Little Missile," "Four Walls," "The Place You Hide," "Friends Like These," and my two favorites: "I Can't Imagine How It Hurts" and "The Trouble We're In," which are both slower, but emotional and beautiful. There are a few songs I could do without ("Firefly," "Retaliation," "What Does It Cost You," and my least favorite: "Razorwire"), but overall this is an amazing album - both dark and emotional. Highly recommended for fans of DM, NIN, Iris, Statemachine, De/Vision, and Wolfsheim. I look forward to future releases from the band.

Happy
Happy
Offered by Vanderbilt CA
Price: CDN$ 62.95
2 used & new from CDN$ 57.82

5.0 out of 5 stars Happy to have Happy, April 9 2004
This review is from: Happy (Audio CD)
I am so thrilled to have come across this cd. I cannot believe it wasn't a bigger success. I didn't even realize Real Life made anything after the '80s, but when I came across it on here, I had to check it out. From the first listen, this album became one of my favorites of all time. It's perfect. There is a ton of variety, yet all the songs have an underlying, almost comedic darkness to them. There isn't a bad track on here. My two least favorites are probably "Satisfied" and "Deep Sleep," but even they are great songs that I rarely skip past. My favorites are "Virus," "I Did What I Did," and "Learning How To Breathe," followed closely by "Everything Explodes," "Girl Jesus," "Skin," and "Meltdown." The entire thing is an innovative masterpiece. Many of the sounds common to today's synthpop, futurepop, and EBM can be found on Happy. Highly recommended. I'm hoping it's re-released soon...maybe under A Different Drum??? *hint hint*

808 Bit
808 Bit
Offered by HSR Mailorder
Price: CDN$ 9.88
6 used & new from CDN$ 8.98

5.0 out of 5 stars We all saw it coming...sort of., April 7 2004
This review is from: 808 Bit (Audio CD)
I'm sure most fans of Apoptygma Berzerk have noticed the not-so-subtle shift toward a lighter synthpoppier sound. After hearing "Something I Should Know" from APB's last album, Harmonizer, some people were probably pretty scared that APB as we knew it would soon be all but gone. Fortunately for those people, Stephan Groth did decide to go that way, but under a different name. And fortunately for me, "Something I Should Know" was one of my faves from Harmonizer and was hoping for more of that sound...yet I wanted APB to remain what it was for the most part. So therefore, fans and non-fans of "Something I Should Know" both lucked out. 808 Bit is a fun album. I won't go so far as to say it's genious, but it's great for what it is. It will totally take you back to the '80s with it's blippy synths and moderate beats. This is not boring, typical "electroclash" like the much-overrated Ladytron. The vocals are varied - you don't get the same vacant monotone vocals that many of these bands give you. Highlights are "Before You Came Along," "Falling Out," "Invade My Heart Tonight," and "Bedsitter." If you liked APB's "Something I Should Know," most likely you will love 808 Bit. If you like the, ahem, electroclash genre, you will most likely like this album, too. This is currently my second favorite of the genre (following Soviet's "We Are Eyes, We Are Builders").

Depeche Mode: One Night in Paris
Depeche Mode: One Night in Paris
DVD ~ David Gahan
Offered by OMydeals
Price: CDN$ 182.52
12 used & new from CDN$ 22.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Love ya, Dave, but..., Feb. 11 2004
Needless to say, I am a HUGE Depeche Mode fan. I don't think they could release a less than perfect album. I also saw them live in Saint Paul for the Exciter tour, and thought they were absolutely amazing. This DVD, however, could have been better. There are many good elements. The music (of course), the direction, and Anton's amazing visuals (lighting, graphics, effects) are all amazing. But unfortunately there are some not-so-good elements, too. They hardly ever show the audience. When I watch a live concert DVD, I want to feel like I'm actually there. I like to see the fans going nuts. The crowd sounds seemed to be almost muted on the DVD, making me long for the roars that I SHOULD be hearing from my rear surround-sound speakers. And my biggest complaint - I hate to say - is Dave's vocals. I absolutely love Dave. His voice is captured flawlessly on every album, including his solo album "Paper Monsters." And on the 101 DVD his vocals couldn't be better. And he certainly didn't disappoint when I saw them in 2001. What the heck happened in Paris? He almost has me cringing at certain parts. His usual smoothness is all but gone in this performance. Fortunately he does retain his usual charismatic persona that makes you want to get on your knees and worship. The tracklist is almost perfect (though I do prefer all the post-eighties stuff over the eighties stuff, so if you are the opposite, you may not be as thrilled as I am about the tracklist). "Breathe" is the only song I could really do without. I do wish they had included "I Feel Loved," though. They played it in Saint Paul, and it was a fantastic crowd-pumping number (as well as one of my favorite DM songs). So anyway, I still highly enjoy this DVD, despite the flaws. If you're as hardcore a fan as I am, you should definitely have this in your collection. And Dave, you may have had a bad night in Paris, but I haven't lost any faith in you. I can't wait for the Live Monsters DVD coming out soon!

(4 Mixes) (4 Tracks)
(4 Mixes) (4 Tracks)
6 used & new from CDN$ 9.19

5.0 out of 5 stars I would have payed $... for the DVD alone., Oct. 14 2003
This review is from: (4 Mixes) (4 Tracks) (Audio CD)
As a previous reviewer so eloquently said: wow. Ever since I first bought "()" last year, "Untitled 1" has been one of my favorite songs of all time. It is so amazingly beautiful and emotional. The b-sides are ok, but I really wasn't expecting masterpieces. It's the DVD that makes this purchase more than worth it. I had no idea what to expect with the videos, but I was pleasantly surprised, to say the least. They fit the music perfectly, and each one was heart-wrenchingly powerful. They all brought tears to my eyes. Sappy, but true. My favorite is the second one, which shows the difficulties (and small victories) of being a gay youth in a conservative Christian society. This one struck the biggest chord with me because I can completely relate. These powerful works of art are videos that the whole world should see. It ticks me off that America will rarely (if ever) see this type of brilliance on our televisions. Instead, we're stuck with mind-numbing booty-shaking. So if you have a brain, a soul, and depth of character, do yourself a favor and pick this single/DVD up.

Fear of a Red Planet
Fear of a Red Planet
Offered by Vanderbilt CA
Price: CDN$ 22.93
5 used & new from CDN$ 11.99

5.0 out of 5 stars dark and delicious, July 26 2003
This review is from: Fear of a Red Planet (Audio CD)
First of all, this is not the single! This is the full album! Amazon has it listed incorrectly. Anyway, on to my review... I have been on an enormous synthpop kick the past couple years, ordering almost every album of the genre possible from Amazon. I can't say why it took me so long to order a Red Flag album, but am I glad I finally did! I now have all their available albums other than the Lighthouse (which is shipping soon) and Fear of a Red Planet is my favorite. In fact, it's one of my favorite albums of all time. It's darker than some of their albums, but not quite as dark as The Crypt, The Bitter End, or Codebreaker T133. Half of the songs on here are single-worthy, my favorites being "On The Highway," "So Lie With Me," "I Love You To Death," "Cause and Consequence," and "Lullaby for a Restless Girl." Seriously, every album by Red Flag is worth checking out (except maybe The Crypt). If you are into synthpop at all, give these guys a listen. With so much variety among their albums, you're sure to find something to please you. Fear of a Red Planet is sort of the middle ground, combining all their sounds to date.

Northern Light
Northern Light
Price: CDN$ 16.09
21 used & new from CDN$ 11.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Hurray for Monochrome, Dec 15 2002
This review is from: Northern Light (Audio CD)
Northern Light (note: no "S") is far better than United States of Mind. USM had a whole bunch of okay songs, but none that were great. Northern Light, however, holds Covenant's three best songs to date: Monochrome, Call the Ships to Port, and We Stand Alone. Monochrome is absolutely amazing. Unfortunately it's the first track, so it sets the bar a little high for the rest of the album. Every song is good, although most are a little slower than one might prefer. I do wish there were a couple more high-energy tracks like the first two, but overall, it's a great aural experience. Even if the rest of the album sucked, which it doesn't, it's worth the price for Monochrome alone. Granted, I happen to love the newer direction of APB, VNV, et al, and am not a huge fan of the older growly industrial stomp. Some of these tracks even have an Underworld flair. I am very relieved after being pretty darn unaffected by United States of Mind.

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