Depeche Mode - Spirit

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And we have our regular once-every-four-years new album and tour:

Depeche Mode, one of modern music’s most influential artists, announced today at a special event in Milan that they will be embarking on a world tour in May 2017 to support their new studio album, Spirit, due to be released in early 2017. Following the release of the album, the Global Spirit Tour will provide lifelong fans and new fans alike with an opportunity to see the band’s ground-breaking and intensely emotive shows.

The first leg of the Global Spirit Tour will see Dave Gahan, Martin Gore and Andy Fletcher play to more than 1.5 million fans in 32 cities in 21 countries across Europe. The tour starts at Stockholm’s Friends Arena on May 5th 2017, and the band will play fan-favourite venues including Paris’ Stade de France, San Siro in Milan, and Berlin’s Olympiastadion. Additional tour stops include new stadiums for the band such as London Stadium on June 3rd 2017, Otkritie Arena in Moscow, and Veltins-Arena in Gelsenkirchen, Germany. The European leg ends on July 23rd with a final stadium show in Cluj-Napoca, Romania.

American dates to follow etc. etc. London date goes on sale this Friday.

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 11 October 2016 13:40 (one year ago) Permalink

I didn't watch the event, but apparently a reporter in the pool asked if Alan would be rejoining the band.

Ⓓⓡ. (Johnny Fever), Tuesday, 11 October 2016 13:58 (one year ago) Permalink

oh don't play Manchester/ The North then, see if i care.

piscesx, Tuesday, 11 October 2016 14:36 (one year ago) Permalink

James Ford producing!?

piscesx, Tuesday, 11 October 2016 15:32 (one year ago) Permalink

Spirit, eh? Undoubtedly looking forward to hearing how the album sounds from a production standpoint, and probably looking more forward to what Dave will bring to the table songwriting-wise than what Martin will. Dave's songs have often been legit highlights of recent Mode albums. Weirdly, I'm beginning to find that the songs that Martin is choosing to sing often seem to be some of the worst on recent Mode albums, too.

What I'm not expecting, based on that title, is any kind of radical change-up lyrically... I guess we know the drill by now: 'angel', 'devil', 'wings', 'world', 'knees', 'sin (or sinner)', 'broken (or break)', 'lost', references to Biblical names.

...and I guess there'll be at least one shuffle on this LP, too, where they attempt to remake 'Personal Jesus' again.

pen pineapple apple pen (Turrican), Tuesday, 11 October 2016 16:53 (one year ago) Permalink

If Dave comes up with anything of the same quality as 'Nothing's Imposssible' or 'Secret To The End' or some of the better moments of Hourglass, I'll be one happy camper.

pen pineapple apple pen (Turrican), Tuesday, 11 October 2016 19:28 (one year ago) Permalink

I didn't watch the event, but apparently a reporter in the pool asked if Alan would be rejoining the band.

― Ⓓⓡ. (Johnny Fever),

Is that all you can say about that? No answer from the band?

van smack, Thursday, 13 October 2016 00:09 (one year ago) Permalink

three months pass...

so new single next week? Pretty dodgy cover art for this campaign it seems

licorice oratorio (baaderonixx), Thursday, 2 February 2017 13:34 (nine months ago) Permalink

..by Corbijn, right? It's ok I guess. New single out tomorrow.

willem, Thursday, 2 February 2017 13:39 (nine months ago) Permalink

consistent then xp

nashwan, Thursday, 2 February 2017 13:39 (nine months ago) Permalink

you're right - Ultra was probably their last decent visuals/cover art. The Corbijn stuff is boring and repetitive

licorice oratorio (baaderonixx), Thursday, 2 February 2017 13:53 (nine months ago) Permalink

I even thought the sleeve to Ultra was terrible at first.

Working night & day, I tried to stay awake... (Turrican), Thursday, 2 February 2017 20:39 (nine months ago) Permalink

And we got single

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UpuaPfOuxB0

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 2 February 2017 23:15 (nine months ago) Permalink

Hmm. Yet another waltz-time kinda track.

Working night & day, I tried to stay awake... (Turrican), Thursday, 2 February 2017 23:46 (nine months ago) Permalink

Pointed lyrics, though.

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 2 February 2017 23:49 (nine months ago) Permalink

I like it. On one hand, the lyrics seems very pointed indeed, very timely. On the other hand, they could probably fit over the ending credits to any of The Hunger Games movies.

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 2 February 2017 23:53 (nine months ago) Permalink

This is better than "Heaven", at least. Not my favorite, not their worst.

The 6/8 obsession is getting a little comical by this point.

ornate orchestral arrangements (DJP), Friday, 3 February 2017 15:56 (nine months ago) Permalink

The thing is, after three Ben Hillier-produced records, I was secretly hoping for something different in the production department. Granted, it's only one song but it's making me think that it's not going to be too far off the last couple of releases production-wise.

Working night & day, I tried to stay awake... (Turrican), Friday, 3 February 2017 22:55 (nine months ago) Permalink

I dunno, I guess I'm just hoping they'll make a record as layered as Ultra again.

Working night & day, I tried to stay awake... (Turrican), Friday, 3 February 2017 22:56 (nine months ago) Permalink

I listened to Ultra on my commute in today. I had taken gigantic pieces of that album for granted (for example, "Insight" is incredible)

ornate orchestral arrangements (DJP), Friday, 3 February 2017 22:57 (nine months ago) Permalink

I have said this before -- hell, I've said it to Martin Gore directly -- that "Insight" is one of my all-time keepers from the band. Hell of an album closer but just an astonishing song and performance.

Ned Raggett, Friday, 3 February 2017 23:00 (nine months ago) Permalink

The thing is, after three Ben Hillier-produced records, I was secretly hoping for something different in the production department.

Yeah this was crossing my mind as well. Guess we'll have to wait on the album.

Ned Raggett, Friday, 3 February 2017 23:01 (nine months ago) Permalink

Yeah, I'm partly hoping that this is some kind of "red herring" first single and there'll be some surprises on the new record. I'm not expecting anything radically different in the lyrics department (particularly based on that title) but I'm hoping for something that doesn't sound like a continuation of their last three records.

Ultra's grown into one of my favourite Depeche albums in recent years, for the way that it sounds more than anything, but the songwriting was still strong in hindsight.

Working night & day, I tried to stay awake... (Turrican), Friday, 3 February 2017 23:08 (nine months ago) Permalink

Ok this single is terrible. Maybe their worst first single ever. Gahan's singing style has changed so much by now that I feel like I'm listening to a wholly different band

licorice oratorio (baaderonixx), Saturday, 4 February 2017 22:20 (nine months ago) Permalink

1. "Going Backwards"
2. "Where's the Revolution"
3. "The Worst Crime"
4. "Scum"
5. "You Move"
6. "Cover Me"
7. "Eternal"
8. "Poison Heart"
9. "So Much Love"
10. "Poorman"
11. "No More (This Is The Last Time)"
12. "Fail"

The tracklisting, apparently!

Working night & day, I tried to stay awake... (Turrican), Sunday, 5 February 2017 10:40 (nine months ago) Permalink

I agree with pretty much everything said here. It sounds more like a b-side from the last album rather their once every four years "comeback" single.

Yes, "Ultra" is amazing (but a bit too long) and "Insight" is an all-timer.

NoTimeBeforeTime, Sunday, 5 February 2017 15:24 (nine months ago) Permalink

If that's the actual tracklisting this is already shaping up to be the most dour album they've released since Black Celebration.

Ned Raggett, Sunday, 5 February 2017 15:27 (nine months ago) Permalink

I think it's legit, tbh... there's pictures of the album art doing the rounds on FB (one of the pictures in the inlay is a picture of the band wielding hammers a la Construction Time Again) and you can just about make out a few of the titles ... several of the titles crop up in this Rolling Stone piece:

http://www.rollingstone.com/music/features/depeche-modes-dave-gahan-on-urgent-new-lp-bowie-influence-w462560

It'd seem like even though the title suggests the usual angel/devil/sin/knees angle, that this is going to be more of a "state of the world" record.

Working night & day, I tried to stay awake... (Turrican), Sunday, 5 February 2017 18:07 (nine months ago) Permalink

The image of Dave screaming into the microphone perfectly illustrates what has killed my enjoyment of their music.

brotherlovesdub, Sunday, 5 February 2017 19:40 (nine months ago) Permalink

Well to be fair, that's pretty much how he's been doing things live for decades now.

Ned Raggett, Sunday, 5 February 2017 19:48 (nine months ago) Permalink

Since I quit buying their music after SOFAD, that lines up with my purchases.

brotherlovesdub, Sunday, 5 February 2017 21:52 (nine months ago) Permalink

Just put on Playing the Angel this morning, which still remains up there with Violator. Puzzling to see them squander it all ever since.

licorice oratorio (baaderonixx), Monday, 6 February 2017 08:39 (nine months ago) Permalink

I wish Playing The Angel wasn't mastered so loudly, and I still can't get on board with 'I Want It All', but I think the songwriting is mostly strong on it even if the production could have been better.

Working night & day, I tried to stay awake... (Turrican), Monday, 6 February 2017 11:03 (nine months ago) Permalink

Yikes, pretty bad lead single, and similar production to the last three albums. Like Turrican, miss the days when every album had a different sound from the last - I could get excited about a new album as long as it went in a new direction.

Vinnie, Monday, 6 February 2017 16:15 (nine months ago) Permalink

I wish they would just go full-on dad-dance and record vocals over the VCMG album

ornate orchestral arrangements (DJP), Monday, 6 February 2017 16:58 (nine months ago) Permalink

Single is almost entirely devoid of redeeming features as far as I can hear.

Matt DC, Monday, 6 February 2017 17:14 (nine months ago) Permalink

An at-times hairy video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jsCR05oKROA

On a second listen, song's working much better for me.

Ned Raggett, Friday, 10 February 2017 05:01 (nine months ago) Permalink

On a second listen, song's working much better for me.

Same.

Ⓓⓡ. (Johnny Fever), Friday, 10 February 2017 05:46 (nine months ago) Permalink

I wish they would just go full-on dad-dance and record vocals over the VCMG album

― ornate orchestral arrangements (DJP), Monday, February 6, 2017 10:58 AM (four days ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

yessss

also I listened to some live stuff the other day and Martin's vocals are really good?

mh 😏, Friday, 10 February 2017 15:14 (nine months ago) Permalink

I still think parts of this are really awkward musically, although really nothing is as awkward as the "dance break" during the "train is coming" bridge in the video.

ornate orchestral arrangements (DJP), Friday, 10 February 2017 15:48 (nine months ago) Permalink

should I... watch the video? thinking after that comment, maybe not

mh 😏, Friday, 10 February 2017 15:49 (nine months ago) Permalink

At least when The Cure did the video for "Why Can't I Be You???" I'm pretty sure they were all high/drunk.

ornate orchestral arrangements (DJP), Friday, 10 February 2017 15:49 (nine months ago) Permalink

It's the first time Corbijn's done the lead video (as opposed to second or third ones) for a DM album in twenty years. (Still don't know why they ever bothered to use other people after he became their standby.)

Ned Raggett, Friday, 10 February 2017 16:12 (nine months ago) Permalink

That said, the SOTU video run was pretty inspired. Exception that proves the rule.

Ned Raggett, Friday, 10 February 2017 16:13 (nine months ago) Permalink

The videos for Wrong and Hole To Feed are flat-out incredible IMO

ornate orchestral arrangements (DJP), Friday, 10 February 2017 16:14 (nine months ago) Permalink

And don't knock "Peace" either. That's pretty inspired but doesn't get as much attention.

Ned Raggett, Friday, 10 February 2017 16:16 (nine months ago) Permalink

Wrong video a+

wasn't it one of the dudes from Liars in the video?

mh 😏, Friday, 10 February 2017 16:16 (nine months ago) Permalink

I don't think I ever saw the video for "Peace"

ornate orchestral arrangements (DJP), Friday, 10 February 2017 16:28 (nine months ago) Permalink

um okay WOW

ornate orchestral arrangements (DJP), Friday, 10 February 2017 16:32 (nine months ago) Permalink

OK, weeks down the line, at the right volume, in the right mood, this is hitting the spot.

Josh in Chicago, Sunday, 27 August 2017 17:40 (two months ago) Permalink

Yay! This has become one of my favourite Depeche Mode albums. For real.

more Allegro-like (Turrican), Sunday, 27 August 2017 17:47 (two months ago) Permalink

US tour kicking in too. Seems well timed all around.

Ned Raggett, Sunday, 27 August 2017 17:54 (two months ago) Permalink

Was mostly not feeling the show last night. I know they've been in this, er, mode for a while now, but it's just too over the top rock, not helped at all by the fucking drummer, who played like he was being paid by the fill and/or trying out for Tool.

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 31 August 2017 13:24 (two months ago) Permalink

Yeah, that's been a common complaint re: Eigner for years now. There's still folks who'd love them to return to the three keyboards + vocals set-up and get rid of the live drums and guitar, but I don't think they will.

more Allegro-like (Turrican), Thursday, 31 August 2017 14:36 (two months ago) Permalink

Heard a lot of positive feedback on the US tour so far myself; honestly if anything it sounds like...what they've been generally doing. So, we'll see.

Eigner is there to stay. Dave's been vocal about the fact that he really likes having a live drummer to work with. (If they ever got in a bassist, THEN I'd worry.)

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 31 August 2017 14:48 (two months ago) Permalink

I was at the same show and enjoyed it, but it was my first time seeing live DM in person so I might be biased. I kind of take it for granted that anyone playing large arenas is going to end up with some arena rock conventions.

All credit to the lady behind me who very emotionally sung along to all of Martin’s solo vocal moments

mh, Thursday, 31 August 2017 14:54 (two months ago) Permalink

(If they ever got in a bassist, THEN I'd worry.)

Peter did play bass for two or three songs!

I know Dave likes Eigner, and I know why they do it, and I know this is how it's been, but having seen a bazillion shows (including DM before) I also know there are different ways to approach arenas or the equivalent and DM has basically taken the laziest route. Bigger. Louder. Less dynamic. As if they're afraid to ever bring things down too much, like they think the fans need all the aggro stuff or they'll turn on them or something. Like, I've seen Sade absolutely kick ass in an arena, if you trust your fans and program a good show, the fans will dig it.

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 31 August 2017 15:23 (two months ago) Permalink

Also, and I say this with love, Martin and Dave could not have given less of a shit about playing "Everything Counts," so why do it at all? If you're going to sleepwalk through a song, that seems an ironic choice.

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 31 August 2017 15:25 (two months ago) Permalink

Peter did play bass for two or three songs!

Ha, well, that much I'll allow -- no more, though.

Hadn't realized "Everything Counts" is back! That's been some years -- though it is...appropriate to the times.

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 31 August 2017 16:29 (two months ago) Permalink

The transformation from a Einsturzende Neubauten and Fad Gadget-loving European electronic band to a Mumford & Sons-loving American blues band has been quite something.

more Allegro-like (Turrican), Thursday, 31 August 2017 18:10 (two months ago) Permalink

This thread revival has got me listening to Spirit again and it's continuing to hit the spot... I fucking love 'Scum' and 'You Move' ...

more Allegro-like (Turrican), Thursday, 31 August 2017 19:18 (two months ago) Permalink

get this mumford shit off the thread

martin's blues interests have expanded but there are more industrial/techno bits he's skimmed off his side projects and listening interests in there too

mh, Thursday, 31 August 2017 19:26 (two months ago) Permalink

Gahan's the one that likes Mumford & Sons.

Depeche Mode did a track 34 years ago called 'Pipeline' which I would describe as "none more industrial" in the "old skool" sense. They also did a track 25 years ago called 'Rush' which could have fit snugly on Pretty Hate Machine. Both are more exciting than anything on Delta Machine.

more Allegro-like (Turrican), Thursday, 31 August 2017 19:56 (two months ago) Permalink

Scum is a late-career highlight

licorice oratorio (baaderonixx), Thursday, 31 August 2017 20:46 (two months ago) Permalink

it reminds me of Wrong, these one word themes

mh, Thursday, 31 August 2017 20:50 (two months ago) Permalink

I was going to post this earlier because it really stuck in my head: the video clips for a couple new songs, which I believe are new for this tour, are really good! especially the one for In Your Room

I think I read it's all new work with Anton Corbijn

mh, Thursday, 31 August 2017 20:52 (two months ago) Permalink

Scum is a late-career highlight

― licorice oratorio (baaderonixx), Thursday, August 31, 2017 8:46 PM (ten minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

I completely agree!

more Allegro-like (Turrican), Thursday, 31 August 2017 20:58 (two months ago) Permalink

New video's nice!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H8t5M9_Tvzk

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 14 September 2017 03:57 (two months ago) Permalink

I like the video - it's a bit of a strange choice of single, though.

more Allegro-like (Turrican), Thursday, 14 September 2017 06:03 (two months ago) Permalink

hey, they showed part of that on the tour visuals!

mh, Thursday, 14 September 2017 13:58 (two months ago) Permalink

The more I listen to this album, the angrier I get at that track-by-track listen published on The Quietus.

this iphone speaks many languages (DJP), Thursday, 14 September 2017 20:00 (two months ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

So, I'm finding myself listening to Spirit again, and... this has got to me the most I've spun a new Depeche Mode album for 12 years, possibly even 20 years. While the change in producer wasn't immediately apparent, it's definitely had an impact and it's amazing how much more fresh this sounds due to the change in producer, the change in subject matter and also the fact that it's their shortest album in a long time.

'Going Backwards', 'Where's the Revolution?', 'The Worst Crime', 'Scum', 'You Move', 'Cover Me', 'So Much Love' and 'Fail' are all some of my favourite things this band have done post-Ultra and 'No More (This Is The Last Time)' is a grower. 'Poorman' is the one song I'm not so keen on in comparison to the others, partly because it retains some of the "bluesy" ingredients that I'm fucking sick of hearing from Depeche Mode at this stage.

On the whole, it's my favourite new Depeche Mode record for a very long time and an unexpected surprise - I was all prepared to hear a tired record by a band going through the motions, but they've actually made a bit of effort this time around to change things up and maybe address some of the "problems" (for want of a better word) of the previous couple of albums. They've made one of my favourite synth albums this year - quite something for a band I'd assumed to be, while not completely creatively spent, then in serious danger of getting there.

more Allegro-like (Turrican), Saturday, 30 September 2017 18:25 (one month ago) Permalink

I agree, except I also like "Poorman".

Spirit is easily their best since Playing the Angel, if not Songs of Faith and Devotion.

Marcus Hiles Remains Steadfast About Planting Trees.jpg (DJP), Monday, 2 October 2017 13:26 (one month ago) Permalink

Wow. Well, I think it's better than the last two, I'll give it that.

Josh in Chicago, Monday, 2 October 2017 13:40 (one month ago) Permalink

Yeah, definitely their best since Playing the Angel for me, too... maybe even since Ultra. Maybe they secretly knew they'd have to try and freshen things up a bit.

more Allegro-like (Turrican), Monday, 2 October 2017 15:22 (one month ago) Permalink

I'd love to hear more stuff from them in the vein of 'You Move' ...

more Allegro-like (Turrican), Monday, 2 October 2017 19:31 (one month ago) Permalink

Fuck, 'Cover Me' is so beautiful... when the pedal steel kicks back in during the outro section it gives me proper goosebumps.

more Allegro-like (Turrican), Tuesday, 3 October 2017 18:48 (one month ago) Permalink

A week from tonight! This'll be fun.

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 3 October 2017 18:56 (one month ago) Permalink

I love 'Corrupt', but 'Fail' just ends this album so perfectly and is, for me, up there with 'Insight' and 'Clean' ...

more Allegro-like (Turrican), Friday, 6 October 2017 21:15 (one month ago) Permalink

Okay, last night! Some thoughts:

* A good show for sure, and unique for me because after nine previous times dating back to 1990, this was the first time I'd seen them outside of SoCal. Also the closest to the stage I'd ever been, which provided a nice to way to really look at the band up close and see how they play off each other. Arguably all the broad gestures are just that, but even so there's sometimes some odd, fun little subtleties that happen between all five of them.

* The slight downside to being so close was being among a number of people who mmmmaybe were more there for a perceived cachet/'going out for a show' than the band in question. It was unclear -- it's not that there weren't fans but there was a little less buzz or excitement in comparison to some batshit level reactions with a surrounding audience in the past. Easily part of this is age and nostalgia and distance (on everyone's part!) but maybe it really is that difference between up here and down south.

* Basically it's the well-seasoned unit now -- no lineup change in 20 years -- doing its thing. Only five Spirit songs but by kicking off with "Going Backwards" and "So Much Love" they made a strong start of it -- really good versions live, maybe even stronger than on record. So that was good.

* Some of the setlist had been spoiled for me but not all so there were some interesting surprises. The biggest for me -- no "Precious"! I honestly thought this had become pretty much *the* new anthem for them over the past decade -- it remains one of their strongest songs -- so it not being there was almost a head-scratcher. Other real absence was "Just Can't Get Enough," if only because they had seemed to make that a pretty regular thing since 20 years back as well.

* In terms of what they did play, it was nice to see them start to work Sounds of the Universe back in after mostly ignoring it in 2013 -- "Wrong" and "Corrupt" took a bow -- as well as the remix/revamp version of "A Pain That I'm Used To" they've done before. They pulled some interesting headfakes too -- the intro to "World In My Eyes" was new (and very good) and similarly I didn't recognize "Everything Counts" at all from its intro until the familiar horn/scrape rhythm that starts it off hit the mix.

* The Big Five standards were all there -- "Never Let Me Down Again," "I Feel You," "Walking In My Shoes," "Enjoy the Silence" and "Personal Jesus" -- while Martin did a one-two with his solo spots doing "A Question of Lust" and "Somebody" among others. Sometimes it's all about the usual.

* I really did like the version of "Heroes"! I know some don't but I'd avoided listening to it until last night, and while it's nowhere near as 'huge' as the original, its sweeter feeling and lower-key impact is quite lovely.

* As I mentioned last night, Dave constantly seems ready to shed all his clothes and when he took his jacket off after the first song I figured the vest would soon follow -- but nope, kept in on the whole time, another mild surprise. But he and Martin are in fine voice still (Martin actually sounding a little better than last time -- I wonder if he's figured out how to adjust for time/age more now).

* Fletch is Fletch. God bless him. Raising his hands to get the audience going here and there and otherwise just Fletch.

* Some good Corbijn films this time out, whether animation or actual films -- I remember thinking as "Enjoy the Silence" was building up that there had to be another strange film for that one and behold, we got just that with the various animal shots (thus my alternate title for it, "Enjoy the Bunnies").

* And finally a confession and realization. So during one of the intros of all the band members, Pete and Christian were both mentioned of course, and Pete I think is just ageless and will stay that way. But they showed Christian and...well here's the thing. I've been a fan for so long now that I pretty am still in the "Oh yeah, Christian, the young drummer they added in 1997 or so" mode whenever I think about him. And he's very clearly middle aged now, and I went "FUUUUUCK it's that long too." I mean, Depeche being in their late fifties, yeah, I get that, but when your later members are starting to show the years...yeah, time has passed.

Anyway. We had a great time. I am still very very tired though.

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 11 October 2017 23:11 (one month ago) Permalink

I liked the version of "Heroes" because it was actually kind of spare and chill and gave my ears a break. Nice surprise for such an anthem.

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 11 October 2017 23:41 (one month ago) Permalink

sorry I missed you! I did run into Chaki in the hallway though.

I liked the show. I was in the 100s sections, so back of the floor on the risers; tix were expensive as fuck, and the only downside to the night to me was the cost. 2 tix plus parking plus babysitting pushed this well over $400 total for the evening which I don't really like to think about as it wasn't a $400 experience for me. I was next to a really annoying superfan who bellowed the words to every song while filming the whole thing on his phone and passing his beer back and forth to his wife who was spilling over her seat into mine and held a smelly plate of nachos on her lap all night. So it was hard to get into the show. That said: this was the first time I'd seen DM ever, and they were pretty good. I could have done with fewer of the newer tracks and a few more older tracks (would have liked 'behind the wheel', 'policy of truth', 'precious'....I guess they never do blasphemous rumors anymore sadly) but that is probably just telling my age.

I still don't really accept these new guys in the band.

akm, Wednesday, 11 October 2017 23:51 (one month ago) Permalink

but I'll also say: IMO the OMD show earlier this summer was way better.

akm, Wednesday, 11 October 2017 23:51 (one month ago) Permalink

But oh, the Corbjin videos were wonderful; the dance to In Your Room; the animals; the drag queen. they should reissue those as official videos.

akm, Wednesday, 11 October 2017 23:55 (one month ago) Permalink

glad to see other people saw the show and came to a lot of the same conclusions!

mh, Thursday, 12 October 2017 00:26 (one month ago) Permalink

sorry I missed you! I did run into Chaki in the hallway though.

Yeah we ran into a couple of friends of Kate's along the way -- big venue, can't see everything!

2 tix plus parking plus babysitting pushed this well over $400 total for the evening which I don't really like to think about as it wasn't a $400 experience for me. I was next to a really annoying superfan who bellowed the words to every song while filming the whole thing on his phone and passing his beer back and forth to his wife who was spilling over her seat into mine and held a smelly plate of nachos on her lap all night.

Oh Jesus Christ. Yeah I'll take our slightly more sedate part of the crowd over that nightmare. (We were at around...I want to say $340 or something for our tickets. I suppose it's a perverse advantage we have no kids and we just took BART in.)

That said: this was the first time I'd seen DM ever, and they were pretty good. I could have done with fewer of the newer tracks and a few more older tracks (would have liked 'behind the wheel', 'policy of truth', 'precious'....I guess they never do blasphemous rumors anymore sadly) but that is probably just telling my age.

Ah well, better late than never! But yeah I count myself lucky to have seen the one last tour before they started bringing drumkits out in 1993. Inevitable dynamics change. They've done "Policy of Truth" a few times in recent tours but I can't recall the last time I saw them do "Behind the Wheel"...maybe the 98 Singles tour? Not sure! Yeah, "Blasphemous Rumours" and "People Are People" are long since put to bed.

I still don't really accept these new guys in the band.

Eh, it's like Darryl Jones with the Stones. You want to see the show, they're part of the package deal. Even if Fletch were more on Alan Wilder's level I have a feeling they'd have a second keyboardist since Martin plays guitar much more now, and Dave's said that when Christian joined on drums it really helped inspire him and give him a better feeling of performance, so hey. They're the band, they make the calls they do. It's still mostly a self-contained unit in studio but Dave regularly has Pete and Christian be his songwriting collaborators on his tracks, which gives them some royalty money along the way. (They played both of their Spirit collaborations last night too, "Cover Me" and "Poison Heart.")

I'll also say: IMO the OMD show earlier this summer was way better.

Different scope and audiences but: having never seen them myself until now, and getting a set from them that hit ALL the big hits so brilliantly top to bottom plus a good clutch of newer tracks, that was pretty damn awesome, no lie. Between that and the Poptone show it was a great early summer.

But oh, the Corbjin videos were wonderful; the dance to In Your Room; the animals; the drag queen. they should reissue those as official videos.

Yeah they've had so many concert exclusive films from Corbijn that it's a pity they haven't yet put together a full collection of those -- a ton of them have never surfaced properly, though some are tucked away on the live DVDs that have emerged. I always find it intriguing whenever he goes back and finds a new way to revisit a song's general theme or even just an idea that it suggests -- each of the various "Enjoy the Silence"s over the past twenty years has brought something new.

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 12 October 2017 00:48 (one month ago) Permalink

I revisited Delta Machine last night because I wanted to hear it with fresh ears after getting into Spirit so heavily and I wanted to see if Spirit was really that good or I'd become more attuned to late period Depeche...

...Spirit is really that good.

more Allegro-like (Turrican), Thursday, 12 October 2017 17:14 (one month ago) Permalink

I like all four of the last albums pretty evenly.

akm, Thursday, 12 October 2017 18:06 (one month ago) Permalink

Spirit/Playing > the good half of Sounds of the Universe > Delta Machine > the bad half of Sounds of the Universe

Marcus Hiles Remains Steadfast About Planting Trees.jpg (DJP), Thursday, 12 October 2017 18:09 (one month ago) Permalink

^ Yup, I'd agree with that!

more Allegro-like (Turrican), Thursday, 12 October 2017 18:28 (one month ago) Permalink

As much as I like Playing the Angel, they really should have switched producers sooner... 'Cover Me' is just pure ear candy.

more Allegro-like (Turrican), Thursday, 12 October 2017 20:08 (one month ago) Permalink

but so is Precious

akm, Thursday, 12 October 2017 21:37 (one month ago) Permalink

Ultimately I tend to see the last four albums as of a piece -- there are subtle differences certainly, and Playing and Spirit have some of their most affecting moments lyrically thanks to, for lack of a better term, real world concerns, whether personal or much broader. But compared to how all the previous albums pretty clearly worked on a stake-out-its-own-aesthetics level time for time -- yes, even including Exciter -- then while Playing worked as an excellent recapitulation/reset towards certain strengths with room to move around within said scope, as well as introducing Dave as a songwriter, it's hard for me to hear that great a difference between it and the following three, even with a change in producer for this one. I don't really mind this, and individual songs stand out along the way, easy, so I tend to hear them all through that lens now. (It would make an interesting playlist.)

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 12 October 2017 21:51 (one month ago) Permalink

(I should add this is all separate from ranking. If I had to rank, probably Playing, Spirit, SOTU then Delta but that's arguably more on execution of said aesthetic each time combined with notable strength of songs. I think I still like the SOTU singles more than Spirit's.)

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 12 October 2017 21:54 (one month ago) Permalink

And the strongest Delta single to my mind is "Should Be Higher," which combined with a really dramatic Corbijn concert film made for a standout during the 2013 tour.

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 12 October 2017 21:55 (one month ago) Permalink

“Should Be Higher” and “Secret to the End” are the best songs on Delta Machine

Marcus Hiles Remains Steadfast About Planting Trees.jpg (DJP), Friday, 13 October 2017 01:50 (one month ago) Permalink

Spirit is not - as I was expecting - a change in sound as obvious as the one between Violator and Songs of Faith and Devotion or Ultra and Exciter, but what multiple headphone listens have pretty much confirmed to me (even more so since revisiting Delta Machine) is that this is way more fuller and richer sounding, with a far more exciting mix. On the surface, it seems like more of the same, but for me this is the nu-Depeche sound perfected and done as it should have been done in the first place.

more Allegro-like (Turrican), Friday, 13 October 2017 05:53 (one month ago) Permalink

Nice little bonus for the year -- Null + Void is Kurt Uenala, who cowrote Dave's songs on Delta Machine like "Should Be Higher." New track of his featuring Mr. Gahan, who also appears in the video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xUSJ4XK2UXg

Ned Raggett, Saturday, 14 October 2017 05:43 (one month ago) Permalink

I wanna hear 'em mess around more with time signatures/meter changes like on 'You Move' ... apparently the story behind it was Gore sent Gahan the music as he didn't know what to do with it and Gahan saw it as a challenge to come up with a topline and lyric. It paid off!

more Allegro-like (Turrican), Saturday, 14 October 2017 06:46 (one month ago) Permalink


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