Highlights: Depeche Mode, ‘Spirit’


★★★★

Depeche Mode, Spirit © ColumbiaElectronic rock band Depeche Mode successfully ignite the revolution on its latest tour de force, ‘Spirit.’ Epic describes the morally, socially, and politically-charged LP.

Veteran electronic rock band Depeche Mode gave conceived the perfect album for “times like these.” Spirit examines the moral, social, and political turmoil of present times.  Frontman Dave Gahan isn’t particularly enthused about anything over the course of Spirit, painting a pessimistic portrait of the direction of life.  While this isn’t an empowering album, it is a realistic, thoughtful tour de force.

“Going Backwards”

“But we have nothing inside / We feel nothing inside.” “Going Backwards” is an epic opening salvo, exemplifying the album title Spirit.  “Going Backwards” captures the spineless nature of government and society in general, accompanied by dark electronic production work.  Lyrically, Dave Gahan consistently references the power of technology, prominence of killings, and a lack of conscience.

“Where’s the Revolution”

Depeche Mode continue to be critical of the current state of affairs on “Where’s the Revolution.” The source of anger is government and the game of politics.  Even as Gahan criticizes those in power, the chorus points the finger at the people.

“Where’s the revolution? / Come on, people / You’re letting me down.”

The production is intense, amplified by its minor key.

“Scum”

“Scum” is ferocious, featuring distorted vocals, intense synths, and passionate anger.

“Hey scum, hey scum / What have you ever done for anyone / Hey scum, hey scum / What will you do when judgement time has come?”

The subject of Gahan’s anger is subject to interpretation, but he makes his point clearly.  Ultimately, he asserts, “Pull the trigger.”

“Cover Me”

“Cover Me” can be best described as an escapism record.  Slow and mysterious, Gahan’s baritone is fully invested as he’s searching for another life.  Judging by the lyrics, the life in which Gahan and Depeche Mode are exploring lies in outer space.

“Poison Heart”

“Poison Heart” masterfully depicts an ending relationship.  Gahan blames his soon-to-be ex, asserting “you have poising in your heart” and “you have poison in your mind.”  Clearly bitter, he goes on to assert, “You know you’ve never been a friend / Now we’re closer to the edge.” “Poorman” returns Spirit to a socioeconomic and political tone. Essentially, Gahan points the finger at how unfair the poor are treated and neglected, while the rich aren’t suffering in the least. On closer “Fail,” Depeche Mode paints a scathing, unoptimistic picture of the human race.

Final Thoughts 

Ultimately, Depeche Mode delivers a gem with Spirit.  There is no shortage of spirit, with Dave Gahan simply “telling it like it is.”  This isn’t an optimistic affair, but this real approach embodies the spirit of the times perfectly.

Gems: “Going Backwards,” “Where’s the Revolution,” “Scum,” “Cover Me,” “Poison Heart”  

Depeche Mode • Spirit • Columbia • Release: 3.17.17 
Photo Credit: Columbia

 

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