The Light the Dead See

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Having traveled the dusty road previously with alt rock singer Mark Lanegan, U.K. production duo Soulsavers turn to the equally tortured soul Dave Gahan on The Light the Dead See, but this European union still opens their album with a mournful harmonica. Of course, Soulsavers have long been the production duo who prefers the sounds of spaghetti westerns to synthesizers, while making their guests sound as grand and grave as Leonard Cohen lost in the high lonesome, so this Depeche in exile is a perfect fit. Brooding across canyons here, Gahan is somewhere between James Dean and a preacher in this atmosphere, and even if his talk of darkness, the Devil, saviors, and the price you pay has all been covered with the Mode, he still sounds renewed, making sliding the downward spiral sound as intoxicating as ever, even when he explains what waits for those who hit the bottom. It's the grand closing suite of "Take" (just guitar, voice, piano, and that harmonica, but as emotionally big as any of the orchestral numbers) and "Tonight" (an actual rock number designed to the return the listener to earth after such a dour journey) that seals the deal, making The Light the Dead See not just an exciting meeting of troubled minds, but a well designed full-length, offering a persuasive rainy day soundtrack that works even when there's not a cloud in the sky.

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