When pop mastermind/main songwriter Vince Clarke departed DM after the group's first album to form Yaz with Alison Moyet, it seemed like the end for the boys from Basildon, but it was really a new beginning. Martin Gore stepped forward to fill Clarke's songwriting shoes, surprising the world by taking his predecessor's catchy electro-pop approach a step further.
Lighthearted delights like "A Photograph of You" and "The Meaning of Love" show Gore's mastery of breathlessly catchy popcraft and help cement the notion of early Depeche Mode as the Beach Boys of the New Romantic era. Elsewhere though, Gore ventures further afield, both lyrically and musically. "Shouldn't Have Done That" combines sociopolitical observations with uncoventional sound collage techniques a la (don't laugh) Simon & Garfunkel's "Save the Life of My Child." "Monument" and "Satellite" suggest a darker undercurrent that would soon rise to the fore of the group's sound.