Album: Depeche Mode, Delta Machine (Columbia)
Saturday 23 March 2013
An artist's most avid fans are often their worst friends, relishing their pain and suffering from a safe distance.
Depeche Mode are a case in point. The period when Dave Gahan and Martin Gore were battling addiction, sickness and personal problems may have been tough, but the art that emerged from it was their very best. It's nice that they've now resolved those issues, but do we really want to hear the results?
The 13th Depeche Mode album is filled with redemption songs: "I was lost, I was found" and "I've found the peace I was looking for" are typical lyrics, "Angel", "Heaven" and "Soothe My Soul" typical titles.
On "The Child Inside", you find yourself strangely glad that the trauma it describes appears to be unresolved, then feel guilty for feeling that way. The sound is typical late-period Mode: watercolour synth textures moving at a grandiose medium pace, often in gently pulsating waltz time. Surprises are few and what Delta Machine lacks is one big, arena-ready, fist-in-the-air synthpop stormer. The nearest misses are the dirty electro-glam of "Soothe My Soul" and "Soft Touch, Raw Nerve".
The intention this time, Gore has said, was for the listener "to get some kind of peace". But is peace what the listener wants?
ReviewThese heroes in a half shell should have been left in hibernation
Sek, k'athjilari! (That’s “yes, definitely” to non-native speakers).TV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Jack the Ripper: Scientist who claims to have identified notorious killer has 'made serious DNA error'
- 2 Banksy arrest hoax: Internet duped by fake report claiming street artist's identity has been revealed
- 3 Drink alcohol and eat meat to improve male fertility - but cut down on coffee, studies suggest
- 4 Former East 17 frontman Brian Harvey turns up at Downing Street and 'demands to speak to Prime Minister'
- 5 The inventor of the Facebook 'like' button says he never made a 'dislike' button because he feared the 'unfortunate consequences'
Doctor Who, Flatline - review: Clara isn’t half bad as the Time Lord
Downton Abbey review series 5, episode 5: Period drama falls disappointingly flat
Star Wars memorabilia called a 'bit of plastic' on Antiques Roadshow by Fiona Bruce valued at £50,000
Fury, film review: Brad Pitt is intriguing as unsympathetic war hero
Star Wars Episode 7 has almost finished filming
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
Amal Alamuddin calls for the return of the Elgin Marbles from Britain: 'Injustice has persisted for too long'
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
Lord Freud: Tory welfare minister apologises after saying disabled people are 'not worth’ the minimum wage