Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Depeche Mode - Sounds of the Universe - 2009

I think that the last good album DM released was Ultra.  In this new millennium, they just haven't been able to pull a good one out, telling me that they've outlived their usefulness and ideas.  Honestly, it's a sad thing when VNV Nation and De-Vision sound more like Depeche Mode than Depeche Mode does.

This album, though, was an interesting listen, with equally interesting b-sides to boot.  It showed maturity and growth, and was an album written to represent the ages of the men performing them.  I found it almost sad, remembering the days when I was young and going ape-shit over any new material that they released, and knowing that as I grow older, so do all of my idols and rock gods. 

On that note, it behooves me to say that if a group wants to remain relevant, distinguished and at least respected, they need to write music that represents their ages.  Let your sound mature as you do.  Some examples...

Performers whose music has matured and represents them accordingly -
Peter Gabriel
Tears For Fears
Pet Shop Boys

Performers whose music has not matured, and does NOT represent the artists' age -
Duran Duran
New Order
Depeche Mode

What's funny (not in a hahaha way) is that the four groups I put in the stagnant non-growth immature category are my top four groups as it is.  In fact, 1, 2, 3, 4 in order, just like that.

But, I digress.

I think that this is DM's last good album.  It should have been their swan song.  It's unfortunate that it wasn't.  They've tortured us with one more stale, agonizingly dull album.  As it is, maybe they aren't done yet.  There's always hope for one more...

The entire album, the b-sides, and Gahan's guest vocal on Nostalgia.  Probably my favorite non-DM song by Gahan.  Maybe I'll do the remixes later, not sure, none of them were very good anyway...


  1. Thanks for the Depeche Mode. Loved "Wrong" which makes it right.

  2. I think Exciter was actually a good record though often overlooked. I think it presented an interesting change in sound while still keeping an edge. The last record was not their best is putting it lightly. Sad to say I think I enjoyed the First Soulsavers with Dave more than the last DM record. In reality I think they just lost something once Andrew Wilder left. Time, drugs and fame also took their toll. No band sounds like DM not really, they have a unique sound that has never been successfully cloned. I just wish DM could get it together and sound like DM. This record sounded really stark and raw, it was not until I heard a live recording of it done in Arkiva in 2009 that they really got the sound right. Seriously, that show alone is one to seek out. Though all of their shows sound alike, that one in particular contained something special and unique I have not heard in their other recordings from that era.

  3. You hit the nail on the head. I've often heard that due to the training that Wilder had, he was able to take what Gore had written and finesse it into something beautiful. He could straighten out and refine them to perfection. I think that Gore has some great talent, but, yes, Wilder's touch is what all of their albums since are missing...

  4. I don't know, I liked "Playing the Angel" a lot. But this one fell flat for me, even though I've loved both of Gahan's solo albums.