Recoil - subHuman (cd Mute/EMI)09.07.2007
Since his "Liquid" album (2000) it had become very silent around Alan Wilder (ex-Depeche Mode). But here's a comeback album that really stunned me. On "subHuman" he actually tossed every preconception overboard and started working with blues singer Joe Richardson giving the 'electroblues' term a full face. Compare the original version of "The killing ground" recorded by Joe Richardson in 2006 with the Recoil version recorded now and you will be pretty much surprised to hear how Wilder succeeded in putting things in the Recoil perspective. This album actually breathes sweat, tears and lots of vocal power. For those fearing that the overall atmosphere would be way too blues tainted, there are enough intervals added. Tracks like "Allelujah" and "Intruders" clearly offer a rest point while "Prey" and "Backslider" go full force ahead in claiming their power and giving the album the depth it deserves. Musically the album follows a u-curve with a middle part where the sounds are actually the core of the songs unlike the rest of the material where the vocals are more of an importance. Not surprisingly that Wilder decided to create an ambient rework of the album as well for the limited edition cd/dvd. This album is not targeted at those who expect Depeche Mode tunes, but if you loved the pedal steel guitar work on an album like "Ultra" you will probably also appreciate this gem very much. Outstanding work from a much overlooked sound genius. (BVI:9)BVI.