Depeche Mode frontman Dave Gahan is releasing his third album with Soulsavers (aka Rich Machin), «Imposter», on 12 November. The record features 12 covers, including songs by Bob Dylan, Elvis, PJ Harvey, Elmore James, Neil Young, Mark Lanegan, Cat Power and more. Recorded live as a 10 piece band at Shangri-La recording studio in California, it is by no means an ordinary covers album. Each track has been masterfully interpreted and selected by Gahan and his voice dominates the record, complimented by the bluesy instrumentation and soulful vocals of Soulsavers. He has made it a coherent work.
A highlight is the album opener, “The Dark End of the Street”. As with any well covered track, it was a daring choice, and Gahan pulls it off with baritone bravado. There are more brave choices with «Always on My Mind» and «Lilac Wine», which Elvis and Jeff Buckley have already mastered. Other highlights include Elmore James’ «I Held My Baby Last Night», during which Gahan unleashes a guttural shriek which could be interpreted as him declaring «I own this song now», the powerful guitars on Dylan’s “Not Dark Yet” and the glorious collective vocals on the chorus of Power’s «Metal Heart». Emotional and elaborate, not since Johnny Cash covered Nine Inch Nails’ «Hurt» (or O.R.k. covered Bowie’s «I’m Afraid of Americans») has an artist made others’ songs so convincingly his own. Highly recommended. (Interview with Dave Gahan in the latest issue of NRM! Buy it here and now!)
5/6 | Anne-Marie Forker
Release Date November 12, 2021