The Sounds Of Depeche Mode’s Universe Are Made By Vintage Synths
ARTIST: Depeche Mode TITLE: Sounds Of The Universe RELEASE DATE: April 21, 2009 WEB DEBUT: March 26, 2009
ONE-LISTEN VERDICT: I don’t think I would have foreseen a day when I would say that my favorite songs on a Depeche Mode album were written by Dave Gahan. Then again, until recently, Martin Gore held the strings of the Depeche Mode machine so tightly that Gahan probably didn’t even dream of getting anywhere near a songwriting credit, so I guess it probably wouldn’t have occurred to me back when I was going around and telling people Violator was the greatest album of all time.
I can’t help but think that Universe is defined by how “mature” it is. The lyrics have an occasional self-help/recovery theme, and there’s a vintage synth-heavy sound, combined with a drum machine that occasionally skips over to the “tropical” setting. It’s not a glorious return to form or likely to challenge the ranking of their best albums, but the material on it is solid enough that it won’t sound glaringly out of place between the band’s greatest hits in a live setting.
THE BEST TRACKS: The trio of songs (“Hole to Feed”, “Come Back”, and “Miles Away/The Truth Is”) Gahan penned with co-writers Christian Eigner and Andrew Phillpott. Really.
Depeche Mode [Official site]