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Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Depeche Mode’s worst album

Depeche Mode’s Sounds of the Universe was released today. It is my sad duty to inform you that this is the worst of the band’s 12 full-length albums. It seems like the momentum that was picked up during Playing the Angel is lost again, and the majority of the songs sound like Dave Gahan’s solo project. However, Depeche Mode have a very high lowest level, and Sounds of the Universe still stands out in competition with most of the “music” being produced today.

Some of my personal reflections on the Sounds of the Universe tracks:

  1. In chains – If there would have been an album between Sounds of Faith and Devotion och Ultra, it would probably sounded a bit like this. Also contains some Enjoy the Silence vibes. Score: 2.5 (out of 5)
  2. Hole to feed – One of countless tracks that sounds like a Dave Gahan solo album. Moderate exciting, not particularly interesting. Score: 2
  3. Wrong – The first single from the album. Has a cool beat and rhythm but feels slightly unfinished. Sounds like nothing else from Depeche. More of that please! Score: 3
  4. Fragile tension – See description for Hole to feed… Score: 2
  5. Little soul – Pretty cool song that seems to flirt a bit with Construction time again. Score: 2
  6. In sympathy – See description for Hole to feed… Also some vibes from Playing the Angel. Score: 2
  7. Peace – One of my two favourite tracks from the album. Almost sounds like being produced by the Knife (by the way, can’t we start a campaign that demands Karin and Olof being the producers on the next Depeche album?). This is how Depeche would have sounded if the hadn’t left the synth 80s behind them. Score: 3.5
  8. Come back – See description for Hole to feed… Score: 2
  9. Spacewalker – Short instrumental track. Very cool, sounds like Stjarna would have sounded like if it was written today. Score: 3
  10. Perfect – Potentially the second single of the album. May very well grow to something big eventually. Like a mix of Vialotor and Songs of Faith and Devotion. Score: 3
  11. Miles away – Some interresting beats, but otherwise se description for Hole to feed… Score: 2
  12. Jerzebel – Probably the best track of the album. The stronget piece sung by Martin since The things you said. (Me being weak for the pling-plong sounds might render a very bias opinion in this case). Score: 3.5
  13. Corrupt – Mixture of Songs of Faith and Devotion and Exciter, and the results is hence a diluted Depeche… Score: 2.5

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4 comments:

Artur Gajewski said...

This one sound million times better than Speak & Spell for example.

Anonymous said...

Playing the Angel sucked as well. What happened to depeche modes signature musical 'RIFFS'. They have disappeared. And the music has suffered very much because of it.

Maecenas said...

"This one sound million times better than Speak & Spell for example".

You really meant it sounds a million times worse than speak and spell, right? Speak and Spell was launched 28 years ago. And has one of the most acclaimed and bestsellers songs of DM ever (Just Can't Get Enough)#1 in UK and among the first 10 in US charts at the time. This new album unsuccessfully tries to emulate their original roots, 28 years later and with a terrible bad taste. Total collapse.
Music has suffered because the guy who was in charge of it (Wilder) is not there anymore. SOTU is a testament to the fact that the band once known as DM has passed away. RIP.

Albin said...

I have been a die hard fan for many years and have been pleased or extremely pleased with everything since Black Celebration. SOTU however fails miserably. Initially I though that the naked "Synth, Fad Gadget, Mute sound" was charming, but after 4 or 5 listenings I realized that the charm is gone. Left is a bunch of demos at best. Only 3 of the songs would reasonably have made it onto a normal DM-album.
I respect that the lads wanted to do something else than the usual. However, they should have done this album under a different name probably, an an experiment.
I have listened to all other albums COUNTLESS times. I have listened to SOTU less than 7 times in 6 months, and I don't want to listen to it ever again.
Playing the Angel was really fresh and loaded with great songs. Now, I'm wondering if it isn't time for DM to quit all over, as they sound so tired and uninspired.