Thursday, April 30, 2009

Depeche Mode - "Sounds Of The Universe" CD

At this point in time, I'm not going to convince any of you non-DM fans to buy this. It's really what you'd expect from these oldster electro-rockers -- dark-edged electronic pop, with some hints of subversion among the anthemic hooks and 'ready-for-club-mix' beats. What I can do, however, is present old fans with a hint at what 'SOTU' has to offer. The integration of vocalist Dave Gahan as part-time songwriter hasn't hurt the band at all. And his vocals have really come together in recent years -- he's found his range and strengths. Gahan's now a perfect foil (and duet partner) with Martin Gore, and the two seem to blend their voices almost seamlessly in tracks like the opener, 'In Chains'. The lead-off single, 'Wrong', is a heavier and darker cut with a video that needs to be seen to be believed (I would have linked it below, but has disabled all embedding, sorry!). 'In Sympathy' is a funky little 80's-retro number, and another possible single. 'Jezebel' is the requisite M.Gore ballad, and as such is kinda melodramatic and schmaltzy, but that's DM, right? 'Sounds Of The Universe' is a strong album, for sure, but I can't help but feel that this is by-the-numbers Depeche Mode. Which for some bands, would be career-making. I'm just not thrilled. (Mute)

Depeche Mode website

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