Verdict: 2 / 5
Depeche Mode is undeniably one of the most successful electronic bands of all time, enjoying success throughout several decades. I don’t doubt their talent, but I find personally it very hard to listen to an entire album all the way through. Maybe I’m just not enough of a tortured soul, but I can only take dark gothic ambience and tortured gloomy pain so much before I switch off entirely. However for those who enjoy such things, and by all means, feel free, this album does deliver on those promises.
Despite describing it as gloomy and gothic, at least the album is energetic at times, which is a good point. However, the lyrics are somewhat reminiscent of poetry written by a teenager after their first break up. Although their albums are minimalist in terms of music elements, there’s very little subtlety to them, every track is a push on the listener to try and sound as tortured as possible. And I find there is very little way to relate to them, talk of penetrating souls and bleeding out hearts don’t really relate to much in the real world on their own, and despite metaphors being employed in music by everyone, good metaphors have a grounding in reality in some way rather than just shouting poetic concepts to the cosmos in an effort to sound deep.
Maybe I don’t get the point of Depeche Mode, and as a mood piece, I definitely see the appeal of the album. But as a poetic piece, it just irritates me with its two dimensional shape. At the end of the day though, music should make you feel something, so I suppose it has succeeded at that.