Common perception of Depeche Mode is that Martin L. Gore is the real creative talent in the band; as the main songwriter this is to be expected. Whereas Dave Gahan is the frontman; a wayward spirit whose personal life has often conflicted with the group's - actually rather successful - bid to gain world domination. Yet whilst Gore has just released a second album of perfunctory cover versions, Gahan's debut solo set shines with imagination and brooding majesty. DM fans will point to 'Bottle Living' and 'Dirty Sticky Floors' as typical 'Songs And Faith And Devotion'-era music but Gahan is on better form when he steps out from the shadow of his day job. 'A Little Piece' and 'I Need You' are placed in more restrained environments but bristle with a quietly unsettling feel. Pace changes occur as 'Black And Blue' switches from stoned country to Massive Attack-style swooning strings and those strings crop up again on the finely matured 'Bitter Apple'. Ironically, one can imagine that some of these emotionally-driven, honest songs would have been sung by Gore himself if they had featured on a group effort. For that reason alone it is a pleasure to hear Gahan finally realise his true talent.