Depeche Mode, one of Britainâ€™s best known synth bands, has been slammed by fans and critics for abandoning the sound that made them one of the few late 80â€™s/early 90â€™s bands that managed to be both cool enough for the hipsters and accepted by the broader public.
Their latest effort, Sounds of the Universe, deftly bridge the gap between Violator and Music for the Masses-era Depeche Mode and the more recent experimental Playing the Angel. The record, their 12th, does take a few listens before the songs start to sink in, but itâ€™s worth the effort.
Tracks like â€œWrongâ€ and â€œPeaceâ€ are some of the bandâ€™s best work in more than a decade. There are a couple of duds on the record (â€œIn Sympathyâ€ being one), but the weaker songs are overshadowed by some truly great tracks. Itâ€™s great to see one of the UKâ€™s most influential goth rockers back in top form. Now we can work on The Cure.
Top Tracks: â€œWrongâ€ and â€œPeaceâ€
Ratings: 8.3 out of 10
Depeche Mode â€“ Sounds of the Universe / CD / 2009 / Capitol, Virgin / 13 Tracks / http://www.depechemode.com