Depeche Mode – Delta Machine
Buy: Delta Machine
Who are Depeche Mode?
They’re a pretty legendary electro-pop group from Essex who were formed in 1980. They used to be a four-piece but are now a trio – consisting of singer Dave Gahan, chief songwriter and musician Martin Gore and keyboard player Andy Fletcher. They’ve had lots of ups and downs in a career that has seen huge-selling and critically acclaimed albums as well as drug overdoses and depression.
What do I need to know about Delta Machine?
Delta Machine is Depeche Mode’s thirteenth studio album, and their first since 2009’s Sounds Of The Universe. It features previously released tracks ‘Heaven’, which was pretty tame, and ‘Soothe My Soul’, which is up there with some of their very best.
What’s good about it?
As the name suggests, Delta Machine is intended as a mix between (Delta) blues and electro – and for the most part it works brilliantly. From the throbbing opener ‘Welcome To My World’, which has Gahan promising to ‘penetrate your soul’, to the bluesy closer ‘Goodbye’, Delta Machine hums with dark invention and soulful emotion.
In short it’s exactly the album Depeche Mode fans would have hoped for – featuring brooding and atmospheric electro monsters like ‘Angel’ and ‘Soft Touch / Raw Nerve’, expansive bluesy stompers like ‘Secret To The End’ and ‘Soothe My Soul’ and tender, introspective moments like the beautiful The Child Inside
What’s not so good?
Coming in at just under an hour it’s a tad too long, despite the fact Depeche Mode have constructed a brilliantly layered and textured world of exciting electro and soulful blues – it outstays its welcome slightly. There are a few weak tracks as well. ‘Heaven’ is shown up for the terrible choice of lead single it is when surrounded by some of the brilliant tracks on Delta Machine, and some of the more sparse and ‘experimental’ tracks like ‘My Little Universe’ and ‘Alone’ don’t quite work.
Probably the best album Depeche Mode have put together this century, and easily one of the most interesting and involving albums of 2013 so far. For the most part, Delta Machine is a lurching, swaggering electro-blues beast which demands your attention from beginning to end.