Thursday, November 15, 2012

COUNTDOWN OF 10 MASTERPIECE ALBUMS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED - #10 Black Celebration by Depeche Mode

BLACK CELEBRATION (1986)

Depeche Mode are my favorite pop band in the universe.  Martin Gore, the composer, writes music with a layer of sentimentality that is compellingly unique and beautiful.  Non-fans may be familiar with hits such as Enjoy the Silence, Personal Jesus, and Just Can't Get Enough (often being unable to attribute the artist to these songs).  I assure you that the entire DM discography is vital to academic study of both electronic music and psychological music theory.  Black Celebration is an album that has transformed my personality over the last several years.  Would you care to know why and how?  Continue.  

Can music implant false memories into the subconscious?  When I listen to Black Celebration as a whole album, I feel as if I am in the culture of 1986, despite the fact that I was not born until years later.  My mind literally believes that I am experiencing nostalgia.  I am known for my atheism/nihilism and lack of spirituality, so please do not think I am trying to profess some kind of new-agey idea.  There is just a mostly inexplicable experience that I have throughout the album.  I read a Depeche Mode biography that stated the band was very fond of reverb during the recording of BC.  I think the airy hall sound that attaches itself to the tracks has something to do with my strange reactions.  Please comment below if you share in these thoughts.  
Dave Gahan in Shake the Disease

Martin Gore in Stripped
Martin Gore sings more lead vocals on Black than any other Depeche album.  I always gravitate to his voice more than Dave Gahan, the usual lead singer.  This is definitely one of the major traits that pulls me to our particular place in the band's history (including the Shake the Disease single in between BC and the previous album).  Martin's voice is more powerful than anything we have heard previously in A Question of Lust, and his backing lines in Stripped are heavy on the heart (as that standard love metaphor!).  "Let me hear you speaking just for me" from Stripped is the quote I usually give to girls when I decide to break up with them for differences of sensitivity.        

I have always thought that Martin Gore sees BC as his first fully mature album as a composer and poet.  Generally, I go back and forth on Black and Some Great Reward as the definitive landmark from my musical perspective.  Lyrically, we interpret new surroundings.  Just what is a black celebration?  How naked is Martin willing to get for his fans (disregard the recording of Somebody - nuff said)?  His voice talks of his fragile side and losing your virginity.  "Let me hear you make decisions without your television" is one of the most philosophical Gore ideas of all time.  I always took it to be a Cartesian kind of means of discovering reality by ignoring assumed impressions from third parties.  I'll fight you if you say that this lyric is anything beneath outstanding.

Speaking of implants into the subconscious, I am currently listening to Christmas Island, a Black era b-side, for the 10th time in a row.  The melody is making my body generate an enormous amount of adrenaline.  How did I miss this piece?  Do not let the name tone down the merit of this composition.  It may have claimed the #2 spot of my favorite instrumentals after Just Like You Imagined by Nine Inch Nails.  There is so much more I would like to say about this album, but I primarily wanted to communicate that it is complex, sensitive, smart, sexy, ANOMALOUS, heartwarming, and heavenly to an atheist.  Discovering Black Celebration was one of the most beneficial moments of my entire life, and it continues to develop how I see myself in the world.  

-Sachem Orenda

Listen to Christmas Island here: www.youtube.com/watch?feature=fvwp&NR=1&v=XF63sxurQ4A        

Sachem Orenda's third album, Apology for Popular Music and the Nihilistic Demiurge, is now available.  
www.sachemorenda.com


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