Starting to show the blend of lyrical cynicism and harder music that would characterize mid-'80s Depeche, "Get the Balance Right!" itself is one of the band's best efforts, and arguably Gore's best single to this point as well. The detailing of conflicting emotional motives and plans is delivered by Gahan with elegant restraint and not a little bite, while the combination of upfront beats and quick, nervous melodies is at once danceable and just poppy enough. Add in such nice touches as the backing harmonies on the mid-song break and it's a treasure full stop. The "Combination" mix of the song, which also appears, pumps up the bass and drums along with introducing a bit more variety there, making it an excellent example of early-'80s beat through and through. One of only two songs Gore and Wilder ever co-wrote appears on the flip -- "The Great Outdoors!," a slightly fragile, pretty instrumental with odd sonic touches buried here and there, including a guitar riff or two, behind a winsome lead keyboard melody. The release is topped off with a live take of a Speak and Spell track from a 1982 date -- "Tora! Tora! Tora!," here given a good run-through with a slightly more audible vocal from Gahan, especially on the chorus.
Get the Balance Right Review
by Ned Raggett