Depeche Mode’s latest album Sounds of the Universe has me in its grips. I haven’t been overly fond of many of their albums since Violator (like many of their fans I suspect) but I liked Dave Gahan’s solo album Paper Monster and some of their stuff. So I gave this album a try, ignoring the tepid reviews.
Man is it a return to form! Love the vocal performances, love the retro sounds, love the lyrics (for the most part). In many ways this surpasses Violator (you can’t beat an album a gloomy high school student loved as he was coming of age, so I just don’t try anymore).
The first 4 tracks are powerful, tight, and totally enjoyable. If you liked Violator you should listen to this album – it is fabulous.
Lead single is “Wrong” – listen to Gahan getting behind the lyrics. The video is disturbing on its own, but DM has always been an interesting band to watch videos from. If you want to listen but don’t like that video, here’s the song set to some in-studio footage.
Second favorite song is “Fragile Tension”, you can see Dave singing a bit of it in this web clip. It totally harkens back to earlier DM, and combines a spine-tingling Gahan voice harmony with rising sequencers. Just awesome on headphones.
Only 1 dud in the bunch, but then I’ve never been a huge fan of the sappy side of DM. Second to last song goes too far down Gore’s path of troubadour style and I’m not lovin’ in yet. I might be alone in that though.
Anyhow, it’s my current obsession. I’ve owned it for weeks now and it is all I’m playing – I haven’t been this engrossed in an album for a long, long time.