Dave Gahan / Dave Gahan & the Soulsavers / Soulsavers

Imposter

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Imposter Review

by Neil Z. Yeung

Six years after their last collaboration -- and with a massive Depeche Mode album cycle to fill his time -- Dave Gahan reunited with Soulsavers for their third set, the covers album Imposter. Featuring the frontman's takes on songs that comfort and move him, the collection was recorded in 2019 at Rick Rubin's Los Angeles studio, whittled down from two dozen ideas. The resulting effort is mostly introspective, contemplative, and relaxing, but taken in another context, can be low energy and wearily sedate. The smoky lounge lizard vibe wears out its welcome early on (even considering the gritty blues-rocker "I Held My Baby Last Night"), threatening to lull listeners into a deep (but comfortable) sleep. Gahan puts his spin on songs by artists such as Soulsavers alum Mark Lanegan ("Strange Religion"), PJ Harvey ("The Desperate Kingdom of Love"), Neil Young ("A Man Needs a Maid"), and Cat Power ("Metal Heart"), delivering a few standouts with a relatively energetic execution of Bob Dylan's "Not Dark Yet" and a mournful, piano-and-choir version of "Always on My Mind." While Imposter doesn't get the blood pumping as much as 2015's Angels & Ghosts, fans in need of a soundtrack for brooding will find this to be an ideal outlet.

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