Five New Wave albums you should not live without

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Number 2: Speak and Spell, Depeche Mode

I write this as a huge DM fan. While I would in no way consider the sensibilities of Depeche Mode's music to be New Wave by design, the first album is the only time they would come close to the genre. This is DM's debut album and the only one where Vince Clarke would do most of the writing duties. Mind you, I respect Clarke to a degree, but Depeche Mode became a better artist without him.

Still, Speak and Spell is synth-driven and is a relatively happy album. Many songs are about relationships and love in a way that later DM albums would have smirked at. "New Life" and "Just Can't Get Enough" are ridiculously poppy and positive and would never make it on later DM albums, but that doesn't mean they aren't good songs.

In fact, if you are unlucky enough to hear either songs, I should warn you. The first time you hear them they may become earworms for the next several days (or decades). But the rest of the album is worth listening to as well, just don't expect Black Celebration-type songs.

That said, even with the first album nothing sounds exactly like DM. Maybe it's Dave Gahan's voice. He does sound a bit more open on the vocals on this album instead of the textured menace of some later songs. But it's still wonderous and a harbinger of things to come.