Saturday, April 1, 2017

Depeche Mode : "Spirit"

I have only kept a half ear open to their work outside of "Ultra", there have been moments I have liked and could stand to delve back into that era. Lyrically they are going way to the left. Things are not far removed in Britain from where they are in the states so I can see where they are coming from and it's not like with songs like "People are People" they haven't touched on this before. It think it makes the song fall a little flat though. We have some real guitar on play, while it's not as dark as "Ultra" there is a steamy pulse to "Going Backwards". There is more of a electronic quality to "Where's the Revolution" This song is working pretty well for me until they start chanting the train is coming. So it looks like my issues with this album are going to lie more in the lyrics than the quality of the music, which sounds like Depeche Mode. Dave's voice is fine , he is not really trying to throw his pipes around that much yet.

 I like Depeche Mode's ballads, but "the Worst Crime" felt dialed in. I do think the groove of both "Scum" and perhaps even more so with "You Move" takes them in a better direction. It does feel like they are a little all or nothing when it comes to guitar these days and that added texture is what keeps this from sounding like a re-mix rather than real Depeche Mode songs. They drop down a notch on "Cover Me". The guitar on this sounds like it's lifted from a Lana Del Ray song. It doesn't really take form until the beat comes in. His voice sounds great with his almost androgynous croon on "Eternal". But I am going to need these guys to do more than just croon over some synth chords.

We are back to a more Lana Del Ray like lounge on "Poison Heart". They are actually playing their instruments here and the song takes on a more rock like slink. There is an interesting mix of sound on "So Much Love". The guitar comes in right where it is needed. There is a more "Speak N Spell" like beat to "Poor Man" with gospel undertones returning with the vocals. The manage to get some unique guitar tones to layer over this.The get their groove back in a manner more fitting of their legacy on "No More".  They end things on a darker more somber note with "Fail". It sounds like Dave's tribute to latter day David Bowie. I'll give this album a 9. The lyrics are the only real problem and even then there are maybe three songs where they throw the worst turd in the punch bowl.

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