Spirit – released March 17, 2017, is Depeche Mode’s 14th studio album
Since 1993’s “Songs of Faith and Devotion” [shortened to SOFAD for us long time fans], Depeche Mode have released a new studio album every 4 years. And this year, we are graced with “Spirit” which brings all new songs to either like or hate or have grow on you over time. I spent the better part of this last weekend playing this album from start to finish about 14 times. Yes, that’s a lot, but it was worth it. My thoughts on this new release are below, after the track listing.
- “Going Backwards”
- “Where’s the Revolution”
- “The Worst Crime”
- “You Move”
- “Cover Me”
- “Poison Heart”
- “So Much Love”
- “No More (This Is the Last Time)”
First and foremost, this is much better than their last effort “Delta Machine” which I reviewed here on this blog 4 years ago. I somewhat liked “Delta Machine” but it was lacking in many areas for me. “Spirit” is different. It’s overall theme and lyrics are pretty dark, heavy on political, social and humanity, but presented musically a lot more positive than their last album. This bodes well for those of us that had a hard time embracing the songs on “Delta Machine.”
Standing out as one of my favorites on this album is “You Move” which I take extra notice to listen intently when it comes on. The beat of the song, the lyrics and Dave’s vocals meld together rather well. “Scum” is another one that’s outside the normal keyboard-based construction that’s common for this band, but very much listenable. The weakest track is one of the Martin Gore lead vocal songs “Eternal” It is in no way as horrible or bad as “The Child Within” that was on the last album. But it’s short enough at just over 2 minutes, to solider through it without always trying to skip past it. And of course, the first single “Where’s The Revolution” hasn’t been overplayed to the point where I don’t enjoy it from start to finish.
The opener “Going Backwards” is a strong track, with a nice Martin Gore background vocal that I like. And the album closer, “Fail” is lyrically heavy on the demise of society, sung by Martin Gore, and evoking the “bankrupt/we’re fucked” line, ever so wonderful.
There is a deluxe version of this album, but all of the extra songs are remixes of some of the albums tracks. Since the deluxe album is available on Amazon Music, Apple Music and Spotify, I only purchased the regular CD to add to my many other Depeche Mode CDs I’ve had for many years.
I’m very pleased with this new album. While it will never be anything like SOFAD or Violator, it’s nice to have the band back to a place where us long time fans don’t have to suffer through their new music. These 12 tracks, minus “Eternal”, are good and I hope other fans are embracing this album, as well. Speaking of, let me know your thoughts in the comments below if you’ve had a chance to hear the entire album.