Latest reviews

Album Review

Delta Machine

March 26, 2013

The 13th Depeche Mode album is foregrounded in blues and gospel influences that have often merely burbled beneath their synth-sad pop. "The angel of love was upon me/And, Lord, I felt so high," Dave Gahan growls on "Angel." Gahan was treated for cancer...

Song Review

"Untitled New Track"

November 12, 2012

"The angel of love was upon me, and, Lord, I felt so small!" snarls Dave Gahan on the first taste of Depeche Mode's new LP, due next year; he slithers through some nasty analog synth squelching into a chorus of Beatlesque sunshine.  Listen...

Album Review

Playing The Angel

October 20, 2005

Depeche Mode's unique division of labor has been long established, with each of the three remaining members having a distinct role: Martin Gore writes the songs, Dave Gahan sings them and Andrew Fletcher shows up for photo shoots and cashes the checks....

Album Review


May 14, 2001

Depeche Mode should be horribly burnt out or split up by now: They lost their initial songwriter, Vince Clarke, after their 1981 debut; their principal musician, Alan Wilder, after their eighth album; and their sanity in 1995, when singer Dave Gahan became...

Album Review

Songs of Faith and Devotion

April 15, 1993

Being the least self-reflective outfit in musical history may have earned Depeche Mode its status as a bluechip singles band, but it has also rendered the group's frequent conceptual forays moot. Electronically generated post-Goth dance pop isn't a concept,...

Album Review

Black Celebration

July 17, 1986
Not Rated

Routinely dismissed as a band of synth-pop robots, Depeche Mode actually uses its machines to make some of the most human sounds around. Black Celebration is certainly this British quartet's most melodic effort to date: the clanging disco-concrete fusion...

Album Review

Sounds of the Universe

April 14, 2009

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...

Album Review


November 10, 2003
Not Rated

D.A. Pennebaker's documentary of Depeche Mode's 1988 world tour shows how an effete glam-goth synth-pop band from Essex, England, could ultimately sell out Pasadena, California's Rose Bowl. Woven in is up-close footage of a busload of eager, young, oft-inebriated...

Album Review


April 10, 1997

It ain't easy being an '80s icon. When the very name of your band inspires memories of Ronald Reagan and Martha Quinn, it's almost impossible to remain relevant — unless you're not afraid to explore new terrain and take artistic risks. While U2,...

Album Review


June 14, 1990

As Edison might have put it, most great disco is one-percent inspiration, ninety-nine-percent perspiration. Its unguarded vulgarity is what puts it over — "I'm not the same/I have no shame," Madonna sang on her first record. What's held back the...

Album Review

Speak & Spell

May 13, 1982

To English Pop-music fans, there is nothing like a good six-month fad. The punk explosion, the warmed-over mods, the ska craze and the psychedelic revival — don't look now, but you just missed the New Romantics — have come and gone (and in...