Results tagged “depeche mode”
Delta Machine is the 13th studio album by Depeche Mode, released this week four years after their last album Sounds Of The Universe. I've been letting the album wash over me for the last few days to let the tracks soak for a bit before writing my thoughts down. For I'm always slightly apprehensive about listening to new Depeche Mode releases these days.
The post Songs Of Faith And Devotion albums have been tough for long time fans. While Ultra and Playing The Angel had some highlights, Exciter and Sounds Of The Universe were very very disappointing. And you struggle because you so want this album to be the one that brings back the Depeche Mode that you knew, and for me, the Depeche Mode that helped write the soundtrack of your youth.
So, how do you begin a Depeche Mode album review? Do you approach it armed with their entire body of work as a known entity, or do you pretend that this is an album made by some new group and evaluate it on its own merits? That's tough to do, you can't help but form opinions based on what you already know. And therein lines the rub.
The album then. It became clear, even from the first listen, that it was an album of two halves. I'm not really a fan of their bluesy vocal/guitar sound. Never have been. So my initial gut reaction to some of the tracks on this album still stands days later. The songs that are synth based I like, the songs that are blues based I do not.
• Welcome To My World - the album opener, a slow gloomy synth based track that you can just see them opening their concerts with.
• Secret To The End - the first Dave Gahan track. And it's good. Has me nodding my head. Synths all the way through, catchy chorus.
• My Little Universe - some of Martin's VCMG work gets the dust blown off and taken out for a spin. Which isn't a bad thing. But then his backing vocals kick in and it's a little odd for a bit. Those vocals. Having a hard time with those backing vocals.
• Soft Touch/Raw Nerve - old school synths. A head nodder. One of the tracks I've played most so far. But what is that odd reprise at the end of the track all about?
• Should Be Higher - Dave's final track of the album. I like it. Slower synth based track that works very well.
• Alone - my favorite track on the album. I have a "these are the best songs that Depeche Mode have done in their career" iTunes playlist. This song was added to it. Love the moody synths in the background. "Now it's too, too late for words that should have been said long ago", make the hairs on the back on my neck stand up. Enough said.
I really really tried to like these. I did.
• Angel - I'm sure you'll find this track on one of those DM compilation albums years from now, but it just doesn't do anything for me. If you didn't like I Feel You, you won't like this. I didn't particularly like I Feel You, so...
• Heaven - their somewhat "er, what the hell was that?" lead single. Didn't like it then, hasn't grown much on me since. Not entirely sure what Martin is going for in the backing vocals but it doesn't work at all.
• Slow - it's (guess what?) slow. Bluesy guitar. Plods along. And then ends. Thankfully.
• The Child Inside - Martin's solo effort. It's no Things You Said or Blue Dress.
• Goodbye - probably the best thing to say after listening to it.
And The Undecided?
Sitting on the fence about these...
• Broken - not a bad song. Hasn't really sparked that much of an interest yet. Maybe it will grow on me over time.
• Soothe My Soul - an odd track in many respects. It's good. And then the chorus starts. Which typically is a good thing. But it gets all rocky/guitary/stompy. And I'm not sure what to think about that.
As an overall album, it's a disappointment. While there are some good things to be had, I really don't like the direction they've decided to go with those bloody bluesy guitars. And good lord Martin, in the past your backing vocals were subtle and used to good effect. Now they're everywhere and in your face.
The more albums they release without Alan Wilder it becomes ever too obvious who was responsible for the "Depeche Mode sound" of their glory years. With the charity gig, the In Chains remix, and the teasing "never again was what you swore" post on their Facebook page, I held out hope that they had all made up. Hoped Alan would get back in the studio with them. Would have been something special.
Next album perhaps?
Hey look, a post that's not about photography. No, this one is about my other addiction.
I'm sure I'm the last Depeche Mode/Yazoo/Erasure fan in the world to take note of Vince Clarke and Martin Gore's little side project. But take note I have. And I like it. And you will too, for I would never steer you wrong.
Depeche Mode founding members Martin Gore and Vince Clarke have made an album together for the first time in over three decades. In this situation, the clichés usually write themselves. Thirty years is a long time in pop music, but two of synth pop's chief gunslingers have got back on the saddle to ride again after three decades apart -- you know, that kind of thing.
Kids look, it's the Depeche Mode family singing Everything Counts.