Paper Monsters

Paper Monsters

Infobox Album | Name = Paper Monsters
Type = Album
Artist = Dave Gahan

Released = June 2, 2003 (Europe)
June 3, 2003 (North America)
Recorded = Electric Lady, New York City
Genre = Rock
Length = 47:44
Label = Mute Records
Reprise Records
Producer = Ken Thomas
Reviews =
*Allmusic Rating|3|5 [ link]
*BBC [ link] (Positive)
*Pitchfork (6.9/10) [ 7/25/2003]
*"Slant" Rating|3.5|5 [ link]
Last album =
This album = "Paper Monsters"
Next album = "Hourglass"

"Paper Monsters" is the solo debut album by Depeche Mode lead singer Dave Gahan. It was released by Mute Records on June 2, 2003 in Europe. The album was produced by Ken Thomas, who is best known for his work with Icelandic band Sigur Rós. Upon its debut, critical reception was generally mixed; while many complimented the album's personal subject matter, others described it as lacking depth. "Paper Monsters" became a modest success in the UK where it debuted at number thirty-six on the albums chart, but it was a big success in the German, Swedish and Swiss charts, reaching there the Top 10. In North America, the album was released on June 3, 2003; however, it failed to make much of an impact on the mainstream charts, although the tour "Paper Monsters Tour" had some impact, especially on Depeche Mode fans. One concert of the tour, the one on 4-5.07 in Paris at the Olympia, was recorded and released on a DVD called "Live Monsters".

From this album, four songs were released on three singles: "Dirty Sticky Floors", "I Need You" and "Bottle living" / "Hold on" (the last was a double A-side, so two album songs were released on the same single: "Bottle living" and "Hold on"). The three reached the UK Top 40.

Gahan first played with the idea of releasing a solo album after the release of Depeche Mode's "Exciter" in 2001, but approached the project slowly. It was not until he began writing music with friend and musician Knox Chandler that he gained the self confidence he needed to begin to consider working on an album of his own material.

Track listing

All tracks written and composed by Dave Gahan and Knox Chandler

# "Dirty Sticky Floors"
# "Hold On"
# "A Little Piece"
# "Bottle Living"
# "Black and Blue Again"
# "Stay"
# "I Need You"
# "Bitter Apple"
# "Hidden Houses"
# "Goodbye"

The album was released in two versions: a single disc version, and a double disc version which included the regular album and a bonus DVD. The DVD contains a short film, music videos, and live performances by Gahan filmed in New York City.

Bonus tracks and footage

All bonus tracks and footage appear on the United Kingdom and North American edition of "Paper Monsters".

# A Short Film
# "Dirty Sticky Floors" music video
# Exclusive b-roll footage from the "Dirty Sticky Floors" video shoot
# "Hold On" (exclusive New York acoustic performance)
# "A Little Piece" (exclusive New York acoustic performance)
# Exclusive b-roll footage from the New York acoustic performance
# Photo Gallery

Critical response

Upon release, the album received mixed responses from international music-critics. In a review for the "BBC", Kate Lawrence called "Paper Monsters" "an assured debut" with "surprising depth". She was impressed by Gahan's vocals on the track "Hidden Houses", which she called "deliciously devilish and angelic in equal measure" and said that it "demonstrates a vocal range rarely seen in the Mode back catalogue". [Lawrence, Kate. "BBC". [ Dave Gahan – "Paper Monsters"] . 2003. Retrieved May 22, 2006.] "Slant Magazine" echoed Lawrence's review for the "BBC", calling the album a "competent solo debut" with "with murky rock grooves and throaty vocals". [Blanford, Roxanne. "Slant Magazine". [ Dave Gahan – "Paper Monsters"] . 2003. Retrieved May 22, 2006.] However, Pitchfork Media reviewer Michael Idov was less impressed with the album and wrote that its personal subject matter made for a "faintly embarrassing listen". Idov criticised Gahan's lyrics stating that his "vocal can still elevate the dumbest lyric to the level of a cathartic mantra, a skill that comes handy in the absence of Martin Gore". [Idov, Michael. Pitchfork Media. [ Dave Gahan – "Paper Monsters"] . July 25, 2003. Retrieved February 13, 2007.] Allmusic reviewer Don Kline called "Paper Monsters" "a mix of swampy blues-injected rock, slick urban electronica, and atmospheric balladry" and gave it three out of five stars. He also stated that "although it doesn't stray too far from the Depeche mould, Gahan does manage to put his own stamp on the songs". [Kline, Don. Allmusic. [ Dave Gahan – "Paper Monsters"] . 2003. Retrieved May 22, 2006.]


"Dirty Sticky Floors", the lead single from the album, became Gahan's most successful solo release, where it reached #18 on the UK Singles Chart (and the Top 10 in Germany and Italy). Its remixes were also promoted in U.S. dance clubs, and peaked within the top five of the "Billboard" Dance Chart. This first single had two b-sides: "Stand Up" and "Maybe".

The second single "I Need You" was a ballad based around a synth and drum arrangement, which reached #27 in the UK and #5 on the U.S. Dance Chart. The second single also had two b-sides, "Closer" and "Breathe".

The third and final single was "Bottle Living" / "Hold On", a double A-side. meaning that two songs were released on the same single. The single also contained a remix of another album track, "Hidden Houses", as a B-side. The single continued the album's string of top-forty singles reaching #36 in the UK.

Release details

:All editions released by Mute and Reprise Records.


Credits and personnel

*Lead and backing vocals — Dave Gahan
*Backing vocals — Dee Lewis
*Guitar — Knox Chandler
*Dulcimer — Knox Chandler
*Cello — Knox Chandler, Jane Scarpantoni
*Bass — Knox Chandler
*Piano — Doug Petty
*Viola — David Gold
*Keyboards — Knox Chandler, Dave Gahan
*Vibraphone — Knox Chandler
*Glockenspiel — Dave Gahan
*Violin — Maxim Moston, Antoine Silverman, Joan Wasser
*Drums — Paul Garisto, Victor Indrizzo
*Fender Rhodes — Dave Gahan
*Harmonica — Dave Gahan
*Tamborine & Tom — Jolyon Vaughan Thomas
*String arrangements — Knox Chandler
*Programming — Knox Chandler, John Collyer
*Engineer — Jonathan Adler
*Mix engineer — Jack Clark
*Mixed by Jack Clark, Ken Thomas
*Mastered by Mike Marsh
*Photography by Anton Corbijn
*Art direction by Anton Corbijn
*Art design by FourFiveOneCreative



*cite web | title=| work= Track listings and formats| url=| accessdate = 2006-05-22
*cite web | title=| work= U.S. Billboard charts| url=| accessdate = 2006-05-22
*cite web | title=| work= UK singles chart positions| url=| accessdate = 2006-05-22

External links

* [] — official website.

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