Monday, 27 April 2009

Depeche Mode

1980 is a long time ago. Ronald Reagan was elected in a landslide. Robert Mugabe was elected prime minister. Who shot JR? Ian Curtis committed suicide John Lennon was killed and Margaret Thatcher was not for turning. This was the year three boys from Basildon reached their natural conclusion.

Their debut album Speak & Spell was released in ’81. The 12th studio LP was released last Monday. In these 28 years there have been no break ups regardless of Alan Wilder no hiatus despite solo offerings by Martin and Dave. Depeche Mode release albums with chronological consistency. There are World Cup years Olympic years leap years. There are Depeche Mode years. They have been witness and constant to Gen X.

Turn of the century Exciter (2001) deep delved into Euro disco. Playing the Angel (2005) was a relief a return to home form and brutality. Sounds of the Universe harks to 80s electro while retaining their 90s rock/gospel/blues with an industrial influx. The familiar as the unknown: It is push and it is pull into the forced panic of the 21st century.

The lead single Wrong is prototypical. Harsh blaring and tragic and unrepentant. In Sympathy is communion. Here they preach to the converted. Little Soul is seductive. Suggestive. Dangerous. If pop has gone electro ga ga citing dm as their major influence then Perfect shows the mainstream why.

You know your right from wrong
At least to some degree
In Sympathy (M.Gore)

Expect and receive lyrical excellence because a Depeche Mode album is much more than the sound of its parts. Sounds of the Universe is progression on Playing the Angel with a left step further into darkness. They have broken the sound barrier but this is not full circle. Just Can’t Get Enough was a long time ago.

Music exits in the ears of the listener.

Listen to Depeche Mode.

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