The beginning (and end) of their so-called light phase...
Philip Masiakowski | Milwaukee, WI USA | 02/26/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I started out with Depeche Mode a couple years ago when I overheard "Walking in My Shoes" on the radio. When I went to check out their singles collections, I was dumbfounded--they changed their style so many different times throughout their career!
I made the decision to buy their 12 studio albums this year by buying one each month, starting with January. (It'll seem like forever before I get to their new album, Sounds of the Universe!) Since I wanted to go chronologically, I began with Speak & Spell.
I was impressed with this record, but I must say that I was unsure how to feel at first. Some of my favorites were "Just Can't Get Enough" and "Puppets." But "Boys Say Go!" and "What's Your Name?" were duds to me. These were definitely Vince Clarke's creations and not Martin Gore's.
Overall, I enjoyed the album more with multiple listens. A lot of my CD's are somewhat dark in nature, so I enjoyed the change of pace with Speak & Spell, a record both danceable and fun.
In particular, I've heard a lot of fans gripe about not being able to have the songs from the DVD on the CD. True, I was disappointed--a review for "Construction Time Again" implied that you could rip the tracks off the DVD, which I found out you can't do without special software from the Internet (the legality of which is in question). But, to be honest, I don't often have 28 spare minutes to watch the movie (which, by the way, is quite good), so I don't mind putting the DVD in when I watch it every few weeks. The album also sounds good in surround--I enjoyed it the two times I listened to it on my surround system. And as for the B-sides...yeah, it would've been nice to hear them on my iPod or in the car rather than from my DVD player, but in all fairness, I don't really listen to the B-sides nearly as much as I do the albums anyway.
For someone like me, where this CD/DVD set is his first true Depeche Mode purchase, I was quite satisfied--I enjoyed the quality of the sound, the songs themselves, and the documentary. It's only average to me compared to some of the other albums I look forward to buying by them, but it was a nice start to their legendary career."