Sunday, April 26, 2009

You know your right from wrong, at least to some degree

Sounds of the Universe -- Depeche Mode

The much-anticipated album from the classic and awesome Depeche Mode starts of with an ominous minute-long buzzing, setting the tone for the dark endeavor about to unfold.

Some highlights:
  • The opening song, "In Chains," features Dave Gahan's vocals in top form, and the song's mechanical chirps and industrial flickers add to this excellent and multi-layered down-tempo opener.
  • The next song, "Hole to Feed," picks up the tempo, though still explores some darkness. The song is fairly minimal for the first minute and a half, with Gahan singing over some simple electronic drums, but then new layers slowly build, including Martin Gore's backup vocals. I like this song quite a bit.
  • The first single, "Wrong" is a superb song (with stunning video). This song has entered the pantheon of DM classics. The song pounds along, again slowly adding layers and textures. "Wrong" reminds me a bit of early DM, while still sounding modern. Awesome.
  • On "Fragile Tension," Gahan sounds a lot like he did on the classic album Violator, though the song adds some electric guitar, which nothing on that album had. I like the pulsing synthesizer and subtle backbeat here.
  • "Little Soul" slows things down, and the highlight of this song is the multi-voice harmony. The music is lush and weird, and I love the strange little break at about 1:41.
  • "In Sympathy" is an early contender for my favorite song on the album so far. The bassline and low synth pull me in, while the outer-spacey keyboard flares add, well, flair. I am really noticing how much texture these guys put into these songs, and I hear new little bits every time. For instance, this song has a strange high-pitched deal going on in the background at times, and it sounds a little like seagulls at the beach. And I love it.
  • "Peace" has the most pounding beat on the album so far, which is strangely complemented by the rather slow-paced vocals. I have a feeling that this song will be amazing live.
  • "Come Back" and "Miles Away/The Truth Is" are both songs that swallow themselves alive. That's a good thing.
  • "Corrupt" is dark and evil and thrusting. A fantastic closer. Yes, thrusting.


Post a Comment

<< Home