Depeche Mode, Spirit

English electronic band Depeche Mode are set to release their fourteenth studio album Spirit on the 17th March 2017.

By Jane Howkins.

   Synthpop group Depeche Mode have just released their fourteenth studio album Spirit, and it certainly has an interesting take on the modern world. As a band that have been going for around forty years (give or take), they’ve certainly lived through their fair share of political changes and supposedly revolutionary leaders, yet it’s the last couple of years that have provided the Mode with one of their most political albums yet.

There’s definitely a social message present on Spirit, and it’s one that resonates particularly well at the moment, what with such political upheaval ongoing around the world. Opener Going Backwards quite literally states that ‘we’re going backwards’, whilst next song Where’s The Revolution ponders over religious fundamentalism, amongst other things. Both songs make poignant points without pointing the finger at anyone in particular, a feat that many fail to achieve when talking about politics. However, if politics isn’t your bag then there’s plenty more here for you to enjoy, with songs like You Move taking on a more sexual vibe. Whilst there is a political theme to the album, it’s not so out there as to ruin your enjoyment of Spirit, as the music is just as sublime as the lyrical content.

Musically, Spirit is typical Depeche Mode fair, all electronic noises and subliminal bass beats that underpin the deep vocals of frontman Dave Gahan. It’s not all that different from the style of music they’ve always made, but there’s an added element of soul present, and it’s something that becomes more prominent the more you listen. It’s an enticing move for the synthpop group, and adds an extra dimension to the otherwise gloomy tracks that seem to take over the majority of Spirit.

   Overall, Spirit is a rather excellent record from a band that we’ve come to expect great things from. It is a little dark in places, and if you’re looking for something upbeat then you won’t find it here, but that shouldn’t stop your enjoyment of the album. And if it gives people something to think about and raises some awareness of the issues that Gahan sings about on these songs, then that’s got to be a turn up for the books.