thu 18/07/2024

CD: Depeche Mode - Spirit | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Depeche Mode - Spirit

CD: Depeche Mode - Spirit

Essex synth lords on better form than any mega-band on their 14th album should be

Depeche Mode's 'Spirit': 'When it's right, it's very, very right'

There is no band of the Eighties generation who've remained both as big, and as great, as Depeche Mode. Duran Duran? Lightweights. U2? Sunk into self-parody a long time ago.

But the boys from Basildon are something else: they've come through all the pressures of fame, addiction, ageing and the rest with their mojo very much intact, sounding like themselves but still writing fresh songs and hitting new emotional spots. They are also clearly still willing to experiment sonically, as signalled by the drafting-in of James Ford of techno duo Simian Mobile Disco as producer for their 14th album.

All that said, this experimentation means they can go wrong sometimes too. In comparison to its extraordinarily taut 2013 predecessor Delta Machine, this album is a little slack in structure. It also suffers from the very unfortunate fact that its central sex anthem “You Move” repeats the line “I like the way you move”, seemingly ignorant of the fact this will trigger memories of Body Rockers' 2005 high street club sex-pest anthem.

When it's right, though, it's very, very right. It's top and tailed perfectly, with the pounding challenge of “Backwards” and the glorious single “Revolution” kicking things off, and the doomed finale “No More (This Is the Last Time)” and “Fail” showing they can be as bleak as ever. Elsewhere there is plenty of fierceness, as on “Scum”, clearly showing that age is not mellowing them one bit. And across the album the electronic sounds are crisper than ever and Dave Gahan's voice is probably the strongest it's ever been. If it doesn't provide the grippingly coherent listen Delta Machine did, Spirit nonetheless has plenty to reward even the mildly curious.


It's top and tailed perfectly, with a pounding challenge kicking things off and a doomed finale


Editor Rating: 
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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Depeche Mode is being absolutely irrelevant al least since Ultra and this was 1997!!!!!. Your review sucks, there are more than one band from the 80´s more creative and not living from their past.....

Yes and they are not the same since Alan Wilder left blah blah blah ,Delta Machine and Playing the Angel were decent enough albums ,probably better than ultra in my opinion ,Name another 80s band then that is still relevant ?

I somewhat agree except....."Ultra" is by no means a great album. "playing the angel" is a bona fide masterpiece from start to finish- one of their best albums. I would rank it right after violator and even higher than "Masses." It is the TRUE follow up to Violator. I have a 16 year old son and a 26 year old. They love Depeche mode and "playing" is their very favorite. The songs are good. The vocals good. The textures are great. the album before "playing", (exciter) and the 3 albums after "playing" are just total garbage, really really bad material. and I've listed to them several times with an open mind- it's just bland songwriting.

The review is good, and Depeche Mode are still big Depeche Mode. There is no doubt. Sorry, Ultra ;-)

Ultra was indeed the last great Depeche Mode album. There have been a few good songs here and there, but most of it is static and lousy sound effects. Martin Gore used to have his moment on every album, not so much recently..what a shame.They remain the biggest electronic band ever because of their overall body of work.

I will be very curious to hear fans' opinions on this album. It certainly doesn't immediately grab me (well Going Backwards does, but the album as a whole I'm talking about). I do get a sense that Martin had much less involvement with Spirit than prior albums. The lyrics, the melodies, the song structures and the harmonies really aren't up to snuff in my opinion. The two songs he sings lead on (Eternal and Fail) are not bad, but like many songs here, they sound like incomplete ideas. They are by no means bad ideas, but they do lack something with few exceptions.

Quite possibly the worst album ever to be released by Depeche mode. I've been a fan since the start, I've listened to everything they have ever released, and then thought to myself ... amazing! This is drivel, 'Let's top up our bank account' material. It will backfire on them. 'Exciter' was probably their worst album to date. Even that contains some classic tracks, but this? 'Where's the Revolution' is the best track on this album but after seeing an interview with them on Youtube, It's exactly the opposite of my interpretation. Remember where you came from Mr Gore. Spend a few months back home, you will see where the revolution should be. Think about that as you sit in the sun on the porch of your mansion. You'll never receive another penny from me! They have lost it. Oh, well, that's what money does for you! This album is bad! Very bad!

I have been a fan of Depeche Mode from the moment I heard 'New Life' and until now. I like Depeche Mode alone, to the exclusion of ALL other music. So I think I am best placed comment here. This is a GREAT album. It is one of their best ever. Remove Violator and Black Celebration from the equation, and it IS the best ever. Unfortunately, there are so-called devotees that cherry-pick a portion of the media and news surrounding this new album, and the comments springing from that cursory investigation of their 'favourite' band, illuminate the fact that they don't really follow Depeche Mode at all! Also, it seems that these unfortunate, fallen souls, have failed to grasp the sincerity of Martin Gores Sentiments which are amongst the best in the music world. This is a great album. If you're having problems 'digging it', throw out your Jedward collection.

I like this new album a lot and it keeps growing after each listening. Looking forward to the first gig in my home town of Stockholm. Cold, dark and northern lights on the big screens!! Love it and great job Depeche. From a long fan of your music. Per

Relevant bands from the 80's? New Order, NitzerEbb, Douglas Mccarthy getting together with Terrance Fixmer to rejuvenate electronic music. Even Prince was still considered relevant before passing. This Depeche Mode album SUCKS incredibly and is pretty sad. Old Farts living in their past with the same ole instruments, same ole melody, same ole everything.

i_know_and_you_dont ... It's not a great album at all. It's terrible and painful to listen too, no, not painful ... irritating. 'Ah, we need to release an album ... I need to write some songs and quick!' . It's crap! This IS their worst album EVER! There is no need for them to try anymore. They certainly didn't with this album. It's a generic sounding album, weak sounds, very weak lyrics ... it's just a boring album. There is nothing creative in it at all. Before you preach to me about you are more qualified to judge than I. Listen to both the 'Counterfeit' releases by Mr Gore, or, any of the 'B' sides by DM before preaching that you are more of a fan than I. They are far superior to this. You can feel the emotion in those songs. Name one track on this Album that comes anywhere close to 'Surrender' or 'Dangerous', which were both 'B' sides! They are far superior to this. You would be fooling yourself to reply to me denying this FACT! It's time they hung up their hats if this is what we are going to receive from now on. They are becoming more like U2 everyday! Obnoxious left wing, snowflake tw*ts! And that is a real shame!

A fan since '84 (aged 12) I'm now 44. Depeche Mode are a band that have (and continue to) grow with me. I don't get the "over the hill" comments or how anyone with an ounce of love for this band (be it for past or present material) can fail to be moved by "Cover Me". Dave's voice is better than ever...spine-tinglingly good. This isn't their best album, but it's solid throughout and a very worthy addition to their catalogue, in my opinion. Certainly, it shows they still care deeply about making quality, thought-provoking music - something that can't often be said of bands making music for nearly four decades. This is immediately evident in the lyrics of the opening track "Going Backwards" - beautifully crafted and showing that Martin is still a songwriter to be reckoned with. All in all, this is a great album from one of the most unique bands of all time. Nothing else sounds like them or ever will and (after all these years) they still have the power to surprise and an ability to connect with their fans like most bands (old and new) could only dream of. Something that makes Depeche Mode so special to me is the fact that (in the UK, at least) they still quite niche. The fact that few people I know have ever understood my devotion to them makes my relationship with their music all the more personal and special for me.

The most boring album of all time from the DM catalog. Lyrics feel not sincere and too literal, without the concrete destination which DM intended to reach. “All is broken, we are broken” - what a surprise! Should this statement excite me? Should I listen to this 20 times in a loop, like I did with “Happens all the time”? I won’t, because in Spirit even music lacks any mystery. It’s just album-to-make-a-statement, manifestation under the DM brand where even hooks are boring so that they are very quickly stopping being the hooks. Sad trombone for me in general, seeing also what other famous artists that I like produced recently.

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