If 2005's Playing the Angel
saw Dave Gahan and Co. make a point of proving they could keep up with their younger contemporaries, Sounds of the Universe
, the band’s 12th studio album, sounds like they’ve accepted their three-decade long legacy and settled into a role that’s decidedly avuncular. Swapping the industrial clangor for dreamy, analogue atmospherics marred by the occasional buzzing jolt, producer Ben Hillier (Doves, Blur, Elbow) has achieved an impressive consistency with the band’s synth-drenched soundscape. Tracks like “In Chains” see the band descend into middle-aged, forlorn balladry, though the rough and rhythmic "Wrong" and the upbeat, rockist “Hole To Feed” show they still have a gnarly side.--Danny McKenna
CD/DVD: 2009 album of trademark grinding pop 'n' electro hymns! Comes with a BONUS DVD featuring a short film and clip for "Wrong", plus audio of Dolby and DTS 5.1 Surround Sound versions as well as three remixes.