Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Sounds Of The Universe - Depeche Modde

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Like any act with more than a two decade back catalogue to fall back on, Depeche Mode have perhaps struggled to live up to their "glory" days, despite continued commercial success. And whilst, surprise surprise, their 12th album Sounds Of The Universe is no Violator, it's certainly one of their better albums of recent years. It's certainly a better listen than 2005's Playing The Angel.

Sonically it sounds like an attempt towards capturing the "old school" sound but isn't as retro as early suggestions may have led some to believe. Indeed it is perhaps a testament to the currently popularity of "electro" that, if anything, it sounds like it's completely of it's time now.

There are problems though. Whilst you would never listen to the album thinking "they've lost their magic touch", neither would you listen to it thinking that the old magic is completely back. What it really boils down to is that whilst it contains its fair share of good tracks (mostly contained in the first half of the album with the likes of In Chains, Fragile Tension and lead single Wrong) there is nothing that REALLY grabs you and instantly demands inclusion on any home-made "best of" you would put together.

The die-hards will lap it up, and even casual fans will probably enjoy it. If pushed though, most would probably have to admit that this is a good, rather than great album.

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