With Counterfeit 2, Depeche Mode founding member/songwriter/occasional lead vocalist Martin Gore steps out of the shadows to deliver his long-awaited solo full-length.

With Counterfeit 2, Depeche Mode founding member/songwriter/occasional lead vocalist Martin Gore steps out of the shadows to deliver his long-awaited solo full-length. The album is the second in the artist's Counterfeit cover version series, following Counterfeit EP in 1989. With this new set, Gore constructs an exquisitely passionate homage to some of his most treasured and inspirational songs from an array of such artists as Lou Reed, David Essex, John Lennon, and Kurt Weill. From sardonic left-field pop and sci-fi lullabies to haunting hymns and engrossing electronic torch songs, Gore's reworkings sparkle with visceral emotion, aching vulnerability, and sublime intensity. Highlights include the woozy burn-out anthem (and lead single) "Stardust"; the lusty, menacing scorcher "Loverman" (originally recorded by Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds); the dusky "In My Other World"; and the soothing minimal pulses of "By This River" (a breathtaking reinvention of the Brian Eno original recalling the alienated strains explored on Depeche Mode's Black Celebration). Fans will undoubtedly revel in the set's intimate off-kilter beauty while secretly yearning for a collection of Gore's own original compositions that they've come to cherish.—CR