Paper Monsters

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Paper Monsters
Studio album by Dave Gahan
Released 2 June 2003 (Europe)
3 June 2003 (North America)
Recorded Electric Lady, New York City
Genre Alternative rock
Length 47:44
Label Mute, Reprise
Producer Ken Thomas
Dave Gahan chronology
Paper Monsters
(2003)
Hourglass
(2007)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars [1]
BBC (Positive) [2]
Blender 3/5 stars [3]
The Music Box 2.5/5 stars [4]
Pitchfork Media (6.9/10) [5]
Slant 3.5/5 stars [6]

Paper Monsters is the solo debut album by Depeche Mode lead singer Dave Gahan. It was released by Mute Records on 2 June 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 the Top 10 there. In North America, the album was released on 3 June 2003; however, it failed to make much of an impact on the mainstream charts, although the "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[edit]

All tracks written and composed by Dave Gahan and Knox Chandler.

  1. "Dirty Sticky Floors" - 3:35
  2. "Hold On" - 4:17
  3. "A Little Piece" - 5:12
  4. "Bottle Living" - 3:33
  5. "Black and Blue Again" - 5:43
  6. "Stay" - 4:20
  7. "I Need You" - 4:45
  8. "Bitter Apple" - 6:01
  9. "Hidden Houses" - 5:02
  10. "Goodbye" - 5:55

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[edit]

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

  1. A Short Film
  2. "Dirty Sticky Floors" music video
  3. Exclusive b-roll footage from the "Dirty Sticky Floors" video shoot
  4. "Hold On" (exclusive New York acoustic performance)
  5. "A Little Piece" (exclusive New York acoustic performance)
  6. Exclusive b-roll footage from the New York acoustic performance
  7. Photo Gallery

Critical response[edit]

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".[2] Slant Magazine echoed Lawrence's review for the BBC, calling the album a "competent solo debut" with "with murky rock grooves and throaty vocals".[6] 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".[5] 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".[1]

Singles[edit]

"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[edit]

All editions released by Mute and Reprise Records.
Release format Country Cat. No. Release date
Regular album United Kingdom STUMM 216 2 June 2003
Regular album North America 48471 3 June 2003
Special edition CD/DVD album United Kingdom LCDSTUMM 216 2 June 2003
Special edition CD/DVD album North America 48492 3 June 2003

Charts[edit]

Chart (2003) Peak
position
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[7] 43
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[8] 31
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[9] 9
Danish Albums (Hitlisten)[10] 11
Finnish Albums (Suomen virallinen lista)[11] 26
French Albums (SNEP)[12] 21
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[13] 5
Italian Albums (FIMI)[14] 10
Polish Albums (ZPAV)[15] 23
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[16] 5
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[17] 10
UK Albums (OCC)[18] 36
US Billboard 200[19] 127

Credits and personnel[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Kline, Don. Paper Monsters at AllMusic
  2. ^ a b Lawrence, Kate (3 June 2003). "BBC Review of Dave Gahan - Paper Monsters". BBC. Retrieved 10 May 2012. 
  3. ^ Blender review[dead link]
  4. ^ "Dave Gahan - Paper Monsters (Album review)". The Music Box Magazine 10 (9). September 2003. Retrieved 10 May 2012. 
  5. ^ a b Idov, Michael (24 July 2003). "Dave Gahan: Paper Monsters album review". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 10 May 2003. 
  6. ^ a b Blanford, Roxanne (9 August 2003). "Dave Gahan: Paper Monsters music review". Slant. Retrieved 10 May 2012. 
  7. ^ "Dave Gahan - Paper Monsters" (in German). Austriancharts.at. Hung Medien. Retrieved 25 December 2013.
  8. ^ "Dave Gahan – Paper Monsters" (in Dutch). Ultratop.be. Hung Medien. Retrieved 25 December 2013.
  9. ^ "Dave Gahan – Paper Monsters" (in French). Ultratop.be. Hung Medien. Retrieved 25 December 2013.
  10. ^ "Top 40 Albums - 24 / 2003 - Hitlisten". Hitlisten.nu. Hung Medien. Retrieved 25 December 2013.
  11. ^ "Dave Gahan: Paper Monsters" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved 25 December 2013.
  12. ^ "Dave Gahan – Paper Monsters". Lescharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 25 December 2013.
  13. ^ "Top 100 Longplay". Officialcharts.de. GfK Entertainment. Retrieved 25 December 2013.
  14. ^ "Dave Gahan – Paper Monsters". Italiancharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 25 December 2013.
  15. ^ "Oficjalna lista sprzedaży :: OLIS - Official Retail Sales Chart". OLiS. Polish Society of the Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 25 December 2013.
  16. ^ "Dave Gahan – Paper Monsters". Swedishcharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 25 December 2013.
  17. ^ "Dave Gahan – Paper Monsters". Swisscharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 25 December 2013.
  18. ^ "Dave Gahan | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. The Official Charts Company. Retrieved 25 December 2013.
  19. ^ "David Gahan Album & Song Chart History" Billboard 200 for David Gahan. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 25 December 2013.

References[edit]

External links[edit]