This page contain press releases, articles, reviews, trivias related to Depeche Mode's new album, 'Sound Of The Universe'.

'Sounds Of The Universe'
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Depeche Mode - Sounds Of The Universe
Posted By Matthew Laidlow On April 7, 2009 @ 10:32 am

Until Sounds Of The Universe appeared, the last Depeche Mode offering was a technical release by girl group the Saturdays. Their lower pitched sounding cover of Just Can’t Get Enough may have helped save millions of children, but it was truly awful. Still, watching five attractive women prancing around in the video was always better than the original.

Recently, there has been an influx of bands that aim to capture the sound of the 80s. Amazingly, the majority of artists who attempt to do this dramatically fail. It’s hard to capture the sound of an era when bands like Depeche Mode were limited to what hardware they could physically use. Instead of embracing technological changes to create music, there is always someone trying to revert back to archaic time so they can “recreate that sound”.

Sounds Of The Universe is the 12th studio album to appear from the band and sees a dramatic sound-overhaul from its predecessor Playing The Angel. With the last album drifting away from electronics, the focus was shifted on to a more industrial guitar sounding record. Though the trademark Depeche Mode sound still bubbled through in a handful of tracks, it didn’t live up to previous albums. Lead single Precious was the only song that could be seen as an attempt to recapture former synth pop hits.

So what’s been done then to recapture the die-hard fans and make a record that will catch the attention of music fans who are hooked on bands that Depeche Mode influenced? Well, there’s nothing utterly wrong with what they are doing at the moment, such as lead single Wrong. The throbbing synths twist and blend amongst Dave Gahan’s emotional voice. When listening to him, it always seems that he fully examines the lyrics to blend his vocal style accordingly. Accompanied by a video that breaks the mould of performance miming, it is a welcome return to a director being given the opportunity to experiment with other peoples’ work; just like videos from Radiohead during The Bends era and Chris Cunningham’s work with Aphex Twin.

As you can probably tell, the single is getting positive vibes here. So why not across the media platforms where it matters? Is image really letting them down? Granted, multiple members of Depeche Mode have fought their demons against alcohol and drugs. But so bollocks if they can’t be marketed to an audience of teenage girls who’ll worship any band who has a bit of stubble and shops in H&M. Rename the band the Killers and you’ll see sales figures quite literally jump as the band name sells, despite no-one checking to see if the finished product is a pile of cack or not.

Thankfully, this record is not a letdown, or a pile of cack. From start to finish, it’s a listen that sees songwriter Martin Gore penning some fine songs. Following two successful solo records, lead vocalist Dave Gahan also contributes to three of the album’s thirteen tracks. One of Gahan’s efforts – Come Back - doesn’t feel out of place on the record at all. Without the information credited to him, you’d easily see this as from the usual songwriter. Not only does this show that Gahan’s writing abilities are as good as his fellow band mate, but it nicely sets himself up for a potential third solo album. If he decides to do one of course.

“There’s a fragile tension that’s keeping us going” is the first sentence uttered from Gahan in the track Fragile Tension. Hopefully this doesn’t refer to troubled times during the recording process, though any anger and squabbles have resulted in an album that sounds like a band having fun and sounding like they did from the beginning. The electronics sound like something you’d have heard a decade ago, as they swirl around before building around the trademark vocals of Dave Gahan.

Though it may only be April, this album can defiantly raise its hand as a front runner for worst artwork of the year. Unless it’s a children’s drawing or reference to some mythological time, there is nothing overly creative about it. Still, it beats the covers of bands whilst they grin like ponces against the backdrop of a brick wall, a field, or a car park.


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