Sounds of the Universe

For their new album, Depeche Mode said they were using analog synthesizers and other vintage gear to "conjure up images of the universe and space travel." But the result sounds like a time machine back to the Eighties. The pulsing single "Wrong" oozes classic synth-pop angst, but with Commodore 64-style beats and laser-tag keyboards, ballads like "Peace" are comically New Romantic, and the dour "Spacewalker" sounds like the score to Star Trek rewritten by a deeply bummed-out robot. Depeche Mode should be poised for a comeback, but it's too soon to unpack those black turtlenecks.