Depeche Mode’s Spirit: a fabulous return

Depeche Mode is probably one of the most popular bands of all time. With their fame well deserved, they are loved by pop music fans and music junkies alike and amazingly, they never stopped producing exceptional studio albums that are socially relevant and musically intelligent.

With the March 17 release of their 14th studio album Spirit, the intelligent songwriting and social relevance remains as powerful as ever and the electronic synthpopy alternative rock anthems sound like contemporary protest songs.

The band has been around for 37 years and has put out many successful albums and singles, that turned into the themes of the generations who heard them. They are one of the most influential bands in Western popular music.

This time around, the band seems to have put together songs that fit like a glove into the political turmoil of the modern day, all of which were likely conceived before the American Elections., making the record even darker.

Right from the opening track, “Going Backwards” Dave Gahan sings the song of those left behind by trickle-down economics-type thinking and discourse reinforced by advanced modern technologies allowing these people to distance themselves from the bombs they drop with drones or the privacies they infringe upon.

The single off of this album, “Where’s the Revolution,” is an exasperated cry for revolution and an inherently anti-climactic realization that one isn’t happening. The band calls out for support, for a confronting of injustices but it never comes and the song ends in a state of limbo, calling for revolution but leaving the response up to the listener.

The instrumentation on the album is borderline perfect, with the steady march-like guitar and drums of “Poison Heart” that sounds typically dark but also romantic and melodic, especially when paired with Gahan’s light and dynamic vocal line overtop.

Spirit is an impressive culmination of a long and successful career which has yielded innovation
and change.

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