Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Spirit - Album Review

Released March 2017
Spirit - Depeche Mode B+

Spirit is Depeche Mode's 14th studio album. Produced by James Ford of Simian Mobile Disco, Spirit sonically finds the synth icons returning to their roots. Lyrically, it's the most socially aware album of their career. As a long time fan, even I was surprised by how much Spirit resonated after one listen. Depeche Mode has always been great at setting the mood - gloomy, soul-searching, sadomasochistic romanticism. This late-career album successfully marries that nostalgic sound/mood with current affairs. "Where's the Revolution," the album's first single is timely and sets the tone. However, it's just the appetizer prior to the main course. On "The Worst Crimes,"Gahan croons "/Blame misinformation/Misguided leaders/Apathetic hesitation/Uneducated readers." On the opening track, "Going Backwards," a poignant slow burner, the lyrics are direct and on target -"We are still in debt/To our insanities/We're going backwards/Turning back our history." But, my favorite album cut is all about the politics of dancing, the sultry "You Move." After listening to this album It's hard to believe it's been 36 years since Depeche Mode's debut, Speak and Spell. Spirit is an album that sounds more and more vital with each listen. My favorite tracks: You Move, The Worst Crime, Fail, and Scum


My Top Five D-Mode albums

1. Violator (1990)
2. Ultra (1997)
3. Music For the Masses (1987)
4. Some Great Reward (1984)
5. (tie) Spirit (2017)
5. (tie) Songs of Faith and Devotion (1993)

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