on 23 April 2013
For a long time fan, a new release is always greeted with nervous anticipation, wondering how it will compare with their previous work.
For me this is very much up there.
The previous few releases have taken time to get into, and had too many tracks I happily skipped past .
Delta Machine was immediate. I loved it from the beginning of the opening track. I bought the deluxe edition with 4 bonus tracks on a separate disc, and while I've listened to this less than disc 1 it was well worth the couple of quid extra, in fact a couple on there would have been worth inclusion on the main album.
I know 5 stars suggests perfection, but 4 stars didn't seem enough and 4 1/2 aren't possible.
Being perfectly honest there are two tracks on there I usually don't bother with and would relegate to either the bonus disc to be replaced by the better 2 or 3 on there, or possibly single b-sides in place of the seemingly endless re-mixes of the single (although I appreciate a lot of people enjoy the different re-interpretations of the singles)
The tracks in question are the Martin Gore sung, 'the child inside'
( his other lead vocal song on disc 2 is much better in my opinion)
& 'my little universe.
Although I'm finding of late, I can't seem to get the chorus of 'my little universe' out of my head so maybe I should give it more of a chance.
Overall though these are far outweighed by the albums positives.
Obviously something like music is very subjective and personal, so this won't be to everyone's taste, even some DM fans on their forum weren't overly impressed, albeit a minority.
But for me it's a very impressive album and one I regularly play again and again as soon as it's finished.
on 25 March 2013
I am old. I remember Depeche Mode as a plinky plonky synth outfit who floundered when Vincent dipped in and out. I've in their canon found tracks I LOVE, but also tracks which blanded me out. But this. This is the real deal. They've flipped the bird to commercialism and gone for their dark, dark roots. It's a bullet to the heart. Or the memory of a needle. This is the culmination of a dark, gut wrenching journey. There is no-one around who sounds like this. Some of the minimalistic tracks will leave the less devoted bemused; but as a fan of glitchpop and experimentation, tracks like My Little Universe and are awe inspiring whereas Secret To The End and Broken, return to established Modeland and have a deeply black pop-a-heart-along beat with a blackness of lyric you'd expect to inspire... If you've ever been beModed, even remotely, go for this. The critics will hate it. Littered with self referential plinks and fizzes - we've heard it all before in one form or another and loved it. But you, because you can think for yourself, will love it. If you don't, who cares? My little universe is expanding....
on 31 May 2013
I am a long time fan believe this album is the one DM have been looking to get to for some time. As always the album requires a number of listens before making a real judgement.
The blend of analogue synths, more prominent guitar and blues really works with the lyrics on the songs. Both Dave & Martins voices seem to have improved still further. The soulsavers project perhaps playing a part in vocal development for Dave.
What I was not prepared for was just how much better still the Delta Machine tracks sound live. I was at the O2 on the 28 May and having attended all the tours since Black Celebration the combination of the new material, enhancements to older tracks, lighting, visuals and Dave's performance made for probably the best DM concert I have been too. Already booked for Stade De France.
I thoroughly recommend the album (its a grower) and do try and get to see them live on this tour.Extra dates in UK later in the year.
on 28 April 2013
Been following DM since the 80's and they are my favourite band, so this is written from a devoted fans perspective. This is the album I've been waiting for for what seems like forever. Whilst albums since SoFaD have had their moments, none have had the same impact as that album or those that went before. Delta machine is a brilliant album, it brings together the old and the new DM and there are so many highlights that it's on constant play on my daily commute.
Hard to pick a favourite track but I'd go for Broken as this has great lyrical content and a punch and catchy tune.
Can't wait to see them in Manchester in November playing the new and the old - welcome back DM.
on 25 March 2013
It was with some trepidation that I first put on this album. Depeche Mode's last album (SOTU), whilst having some good moments was very much a mixed bag I felt. Some of this was due to the songs, some down to the production, which sounded badly mixed. `Playing the Angel' released in 2005 had decent songs but again was let down by the production; its instruments all suffering from loudness issues and even clipping, which ruined the overall package.
The good news is, with `Delta machine' all of these issues have been addressed. The sounds hear are incredibly clear, including Dave and Martin's voices. Songs are giving room to breathe and the mix (by Flood) is awe inspiring. Beeps pan speakers, guitars rise and fall, and the overall effect (especially when listening on a decent stereo) is one of complete emersion. All in all, this is probably one of the best sounding albums I've heard in a long long time.
Right, now the songs.
The opening track `Welcome to my world' begins with a deep electronic bass. This is then accompanied by more synth sounds until we here Dave's vocal. It builds until a mass of strings is introduced along with Martins backing. This is a trend that flows across the whole album, where songs begin simply and end in a roar. It's a brilliant opening track and sets a good precedent for things to come.
Next is `Angel'. Think `I feel you', but more electronic and you're on the right track. Dave's vocal here almost crosses into Nick Cave territory, and it works brilliantly. I must add here that when I first heard this online it didn't sound that great. Hearing it on the CD though blow me away.
`Heaven' is next. A slow piano led ballad. Again, when first hearing this as a standalone single, it didn't impress. On the album though it fits beautifully, and has since become one of my favorites.
Another fast one here as `Secret to the end' thunders in with a great electronic bass line. Reminiscent of `It's no good' from `Ultra', it has a simple but effective chorus and the break after that, where a guitar is in one channel, a synth in the other is masterful.
`My little universe' is another one that starts off with a minimal arrangement and ends with many layers. Though this at first listen may seem almost too electronic (it's almost acid house at the end), Dave's vocal raises it above the norm and on further listens it works very well.
`Slow' starts with a wonderful blues led guitar and is one of the songs that will please fans of `SOFAD' (I should know, Devotion is my favorite DM album). It moves along with an almost sleazy feel before ending in an incredibly deep burst of electronic bass sounds. A great track.
`Broken' harks back to `Black Celebration' with its almost industrial sounding noises. A great lyric with a chorus that stays in your mind. Good stuff.
`The child inside' is sung by Martin and is as dark as you expect. It's very dark in fact. Martins' vocal has very little reverb, giving it a raw, in the room, type feel to it. Whilst not his best song, it's still good. Actually, the more I hear it, the more I like it.
`Soft touch/ Raw nerve' is an electronic stomper. Strangely, there isn't too much in the way of a bass drum leading it; this is giving over to the deep synth, but it still works. The chorus is almost punk in delivery and whilst not really one of my favs off the album at present, it has a lot of impact following `The child inside'.
`Should be higher' is a mid tempo number and probably Dave's best song to date (he wrote this one). His vocal delivery here is superb. Wait until you get to the chorus where he pushes to reach notes he's never hit before. A really good solid song.
`Alone' is one of my favorites. Dark in its delivery with beautiful haunting strings layered over deep bass. Probably one of my favorite DM song's ever.
`Sooth my soul' is another stomper with a chorus that is so catchy you will find yourself singing it at work. The lyrics here are pretty simple but that's ok as the bass sound that drives it more than makes up for it.
And finally, the aptly titled `Goodbye'. Here we are back to `SOFAD' mode as the blues guitar makes another welcome return. A great lyric and vocal delivery makes this one of the great DM closing album tracks and when the chorus comes in (well thunders in) your room (or headphones) will shake. Believe me.
All in all, a great return to form. Mixing all the best bits from some of their best works (the electronics of violator, the industrial sound of Black Celebration and the soul of SOFAD) whilst adding bang up to date sounds and album production, Depeche Mode have made an album that will please many fans and perhaps find some new ones. Recommended.
on 30 April 2013
I recently upgraded my system and started increasing my large vinyl collection. The first notes of side one exploded from the speakers and sent a shiver down my spine. This is as good as Modes best and is in fact possibly the best work they have released to date! A very interesting, engaging, dynamic album which has a familiar classic electronic Mode sound, but with a very up to date, experimental, dark twist. A MUST HAVE album! The vinyl pressing is one of the best heavy vinyls I've heard. Dead silent background, and it blows away the CD version. Frighteningly dynamic!
on 12 January 2014
I'll declare an interest up front. I love DM, and have done since Vince left and the band discovered soul.
Once again the band have delivered .... and I am writing this review having listened to this album hundreds of times since I bought it.
The songs may not have the immediate impact of Personal Jesus or Never Let Me Down Again (my favourite) but like every good DM song they worm in to your ear and stay there. And the quality is consistently high - I bought the bonus edition with 4 extra songs, most of which were co- written by Dave and all of them are excellent.
As a collection, this is the most consistent set DM have produced since SOFAD, until now my favourite DM album. Welcome to my World starts things off in style (as it did on the Delta Machine tour), and it does not let up at all. I love the bluesy Slow, the fragile The Child Inside, Secret Until The End, Angel .... really I could list the lot because there really isn't a dud track. Fans will already have this but if you are new to DM and want to find out why they still sell out stadia across the world then buy this. It won't be long before you go back for SOFAD, Violator, MFTM, Ultra and the rest. One of, if not the best albums of 2013, despite what the critics may say.
As Depeche More are ageing, their focus is shifting, opening up new avenues soundwise. More raw and visceral than ever before, "Delta machine" maintains the classic DM element while also boasting a more mature overall sound, with strikingly minimal, warmer electronic elements, evoking moody techno more than the bouncy synth-pop most would expect from them. The thematology of sex, faith, religion, and death, comes as no exception again, but this time there is a strident bluesy feel running through the album, echoing the electro-blues of "Personal Jesus" from their 1990 "Violator" seminal album. While last album, "Sounds of the universe", proved a traditional DM affair sonically, "Machine" is clearly more energetic and bold, aiming to excite rather than just please. Amid trembling beats, pulsating bass, choral harmonies and soaring strings, this is a rather impressive set. "Secret to the end" and "Broken" are deliriously infectious, "Soft touch/Raw nerve" is a delicious throwback to the band's more pop-orientated material, "My little universe" is pure minimalistic brilliance, while "Should be higher" is an absolute standout, a true DM delight. "Delta machine" is an exciting and accomplished record. Simultaneously feeding from their back catalogue, and pushing the band furthermore, it is a creative piece of work that sits comfortably alongside DM's finest moments. A truly great band, "Depeche" cannot be more ironic a name for them, really. In a time where pretty much everything is "depeche", they most certainly are not.
on 25 March 2013
Depeche Mode really hit the spot with their latest offering!
Agreed ,the album as a whole may take a few spins to really appreciate it but this really is a fantastic album!
I feel this album is far better than the last two as there is better structure and melody to the songs and not just a collection of electronic beeps and buzzing sounds.Dave Gahan's vocals are superb obviously drawing from his Soulsavers experience.
I was a little worried when the word 'blues' kept being banded about during the promotion of this album ,thinking it may have been another laid back Exciter type thing but no ,it's not! Yes there is blues in there and its superb but there is something for all the fans here.
New single Soothe My Soul (with it's Personal Jesus pump mix sound) is fantastic (far better than Heaven) as is Broken and Should Be Higher. Angel has been around a while now but i love Dave's crazy preacher sounding vocals!
Make sure you get the bonus disc especially for Happens All The Time.
Buy this album - you will not be disappointed!
Just for the record - here are my DM top five studio albums so far.
1.Music For The Masses
4.Some Great Reward (yes!)
on 28 April 2013
After the disappointment that was Depeche's last album Sounds of the Universe, an album I cannot listen thru having to shunt thru 70% of the tracks, I was wary of any future offering from the band, esp given that Ben Hillier was still on production duties. This was somewhat alleviated by Flood, whom produced Violator, their best album and Songs of Faith and Devotion twenty years ago, on mixing duties. In fact Flood's participation gave me alot of hope, esp after I heard Angel and the first single Heaven, even tho I was told Heaven is not really an example of what makes up the rest of Delta Machine. Then just before release of the album, Soothe My Soul was released on you tube as a video (possibly to spark more interest for the album, esp in America), and this track really settle it for me that the band were back where they belonged in their element.
Upon finally receiving the album thru my door, I was not to be disappointed. There are several very strong tracks on this album from the minimal starter Welcome to My World thru to Broken which to me bring thirty years of DM canon crashing aurally around my ears causing a surge of sadness and nostalgic endorphins all at once. I must say I have had this track on repeat quite alot. Dave just sounds so... different, like some kind of slithering soulman, his voice grates, in the good way and intermixes so well with those delta blues guitar riffs juxtaposed with DM's trademark electronica. Martin is on top form on the one main album track he leads The Child Inside (thankfully he sings a second track on cd2 of the Deluxe Edition as well),
When I can listen to an album all the way thru again and again, each listen, without skipping thru any of the tracks, then i know I'm on to a good thing. This album Delta Machine lives up to all of the usual hype and out performs that hype threefold. Definately worth getting and makes up for the near disaster that was Sounds of the Universe.