Synth Pop legends, Depeche Mode, return with their 14th studio album, after more than 30 years in the music business it must have been quite the ride. The band has fought through Dave Gahan's drug addiction, mediocrity and changing times to consistently evolve and make popular and successful music in order to be the musical heavyweight they are today. What I love most about Depeche Mode is their incredible talent at creating synthed out pop and Gahan's very unique voice, combined these have created hit after hit, especially in the late 80's.
The album opens with Going Backwards, immediately a blistering start to the album, a great song about modern times with some very eclectic, throwback beats, very reminiscent of their earlier stuff. My only qualm is something that comes up throughout the whole album, it's very 80's. I understand that you should always stick to what you're good at, but there's very little sign of progression throughout this album, and in it's darker moments it's very poor. The song You Move for example is incredibly poor, with a synthesizer running throughout the whole track, creating a very techno, old school rave feeling to the song yet it just comes off as a throwaway from their earlier stuff.
The track Where's The Revolution is my personal favourite on the album and will probably make it to my end of year "singles of the year" list because it's a fantastic song, with Martin Gore's brilliant songwriting on show here, with a build up very reminiscent of Enjoy The Silence back in 1990. This doesn't mean the track sounds dated, not by any stretch. Cover Me, one of the slower cuts on the album, strikes a lower tone than you would probably expect, but the very electronic and soothing beat helps this song move along without a skip. However, much like a lot of the album, it feels very unfulfilling to the extent where it's forgettable. Except for the last minute or so of the track where it kicks into life with a very tropical, futuristic melody.