Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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  • Upstairs at Eric's [Sire, 1982] B+
  • You and Me Both [Sire, 1983] B

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Upstairs at Eric's [Sire, 1982]
If Depeche Mode, the most bloodless synth-DOR unit this side of the German Federal Republic, can spin off such a soulful second generation, all is not lost. A tape-layered playlet does disfigure side one, but better godawful than bland, and before you complain about Vince Clarke's hackneyed take on modern romance you ought to remember that he only rejoined the human race a few months ago. I like to imagine that the agent of his salvation was new-age tough mama Alf Moyet, who can make any romantic cliché moderately credible. And I know for sure that the agent of her salvation is Clarke, whose spare, bright, intriguing, juicy electrocomp makes the credible compelling. B+

You and Me Both [Sire, 1983]
Alf Moyet may not have as "good" a voice as Annie Lennox, but she's more fun to spend half an hour with--cut her and she bleeds, etc. A bit of an old romantic, though, which really isn't that much better than the new kind. B