Depeche Mode – Momento Mori

Memento Mori

In January I mentioned I have a complicated relationship with Depeche. A new album had been announced, and once again we long time fans brace ourselves and hope for something moderately decent. The lead single Ghosts Again was released a month later, and good heavens it was magnificent! Could the new album actually be any good?

Memento Mori has arrived.

The first listen was nerve wracking. I only really liked two songs so decided to give it a few days of repeated listens for everything to sink in. After each listen I found there were more things I liked that time around. One night while loading the dishwasher I found myself humming one of the new tracks. A good sign.

So, five days in, is it any good? Yes it is. It's much better than Spirit and Delta Machine. And to be honest that's all I could have really hoped for. There's less bluesy guitar work this time around and the synths & strings used to great effect.

Tracks I like:

My Cosmos Is Mine
Wagging Tongue
My Favorite Stranger
People Are Good
Always You
Never Let Me Go

Tracks I love:

Before We Drown
Ghosts Again
Speak To Me

Tracks that make me go hmmm:

Don't Say You Love Me
Soul With Me
Caroline's Monkey

Before We Drown is majestic, and Speak To Me is the best album closer since Clean from Violator.

Depeche albums do take a while to fully sink in. I have to remind myself that some of their albums I consider classics I've listened to with the benefit of years of reinforcement. Of course the Alan Wilder years are long gone, they're never going to be that band again. But I could grow to like this new version of the band based on this album.

If this proves to be their swansong, so be it, a fitting book end to an amazing career.

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Season Three, How's That Going?

Star Trek Picard and The Mandalorian have entered their third season. How's that going for them so far?

Up to this point, the previous seasons of Star Trek Picard have been…fine. The show as a whole meandered a bit, and I'm not sure quite figured out what it was trying to be. But I still enjoyed it because, well, Patrick Stewart and Jeri Ryan, come on. Season three though is a different beast entirely. They've gone full on TNG nostalgia and I'm here for it! Every single episode has been great and I'm really really glad they finally figured this show out. It was The Next Generation all along.

The Mandalorian, however, has been quite the surprise. When they nailed the landing at the end of the second season I thought Favreau and Filoni could do no wrong. Then came the hot mess that was The Book Of Boba Fett. Made even more bonkers when it turned into The Mandalorian season 2.5 because reasons. Made even more bonkers because you had to have watched this lessor show for The Mandalorian season three to make sense. And we're now half way through said season and I still don't really have any idea what the goal is. The episodes haven't been great, the writing poor, and in places just outright silly. It feels very rushed like Disney just said "I don't care it isn't very good, just get it out there, we have more toys to sell".

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Swift City

Glendale is a suburb of Phoenix, and was host of this year's Superbowl . Turns out Taylor Swift is a bit popular and has a couple sold out shows at the stadium. And there's a bit of city rebranding going on.

Glendale, Arizona, is changing its name to Swift City in honor of Taylor Swift launching the Eras Tour at State Farm Stadium with two sold-out performances on Friday and Saturday, March 17-18.

The temporary and symbolic rebrand takes effect Friday, the opening day of the tour, and lasts through Saturday.

The name Swift City was unveiled at a news conference on Monday where Glendale Mayor Jerry P. Weiers read a proclamation laying out the case for Swift and Glendale in a series of sentences beginning with "Whereas" and referencing lyrics to several hits on his way to a closing involving the words "I do hereby declare."


Of An Age

Obviously you can never over share on the internet. And I'm of an age now where I'm going to do a thing. A really really fun thing. Want to guess? Here's a clue.

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Espen Kraft (who has a wonderful YouTube Channel by the way) released his latest album Dreams at the end of last year. It's a great trip down 80s synthwave nostalgia lane. I'm loving the instrumental track Lullabye that closes out the album.