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Depeche Mode 

Wednesday, Aug 5 2009
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Depeche Mode's dusky electro-pop triggers the question, "Is this what Joy Division would have sounded like had Ian Curtis not ended up swinging from something?" Oh sure, Martin Gore's Romantic-influenced poetry was often strained, the domestic darkness the band spun occasionally cartoonish. But that was all admissible. Dave Gahan's haunting, cinematic vocals interlaced perfectly with Gore's stratified yet accessible soundscapes. 1990's Violator was a pop moment as much as a genre triumph, the album where Depeche Mode perfectly captured the melancholy of dance music. Openers Peter Bjorn and John crafted their own, slightly less feted moment with 2006's Writer's Block, the Swedish trio unable to restrain their exuberance at having so many wonderful, stylistic ideas to articulate.

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Ryan Foley

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