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Album Review: Depeche Mode – Spirit

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Album Review: Depeche Mode - Spirit
Wherever you stand in the post-Brexit, post-Trump, post-facts era, one thing’s certain: the world hasn’t felt this messed up in decades. But while streets fill with protesters, the airwaves are strangely empty of dissenting voices. Sure, artists are speaking out, but few are putting their voice on record. Depeche Mode, however, are livid, and on their 14th album, they make no secret of it.

Full of rage and bile, its mood as dark as its lyrics, ‘Spirit’ is an album as focussed and incensed as anything they’ve ever done. This was clear from its first single, the rousing Where’s The Revolution”. Greatly pitched at a gentle pace, its bubbling synths nonetheless do little to hide Dave Gahan’s anger. “Who’s making your decisions?” he spits as the first verse closes. “You or your religion? Your government? Your countries? You patriotic junkies…” A colossal chorus then kicks in as he poses a question many have been asking: “Where’s the revolution? Come on people!/ You’re letting me down”. Admittedly this raises the awkward issue of whether a multi-millionaire has the right to lecture people he acknowledges have been “kept down” and “pushed around”, but Gahan’s commitment to his wrath is unquestionable, and it’s evident throughout this empathetic, combative, but carefully measured collection. Indeed, it’s conspicuous, and right from the start. Against menacing piano chords and, later, a siren-like riff, Backwards finds Gahan reasoning “We’re going backwards armed with new technology/ Going backwards to a caveman mentality”.

“Worst Crime” sees him more sparsely accompanied, beating Nick Cave at his own game as he directs us: “There’s a lynching in the square/ You will have to join us”. Then he turns the tables, jabbing his finger at us to reveal the real culprits: “Step up to the gallows/ And act out your penance/ For acting so shallow”. “Scum” is even more accusatory, a bass drum pounding away as Gahan demands “Hey, scum! What have you ever done for anyone?”, before goading his targets to “Pull the trigger!”

Even in Spirit’s mid-section, when attention shifts to relatively apolitical matters, things rarely relent. “You Move” is characterised by an industrial, malevolent rumble, while a swelling tension matches the appealingly fluid “Cover Me” growing despair. On the brief “Eternal”, Gahan faces down an apocalyptic, symphonic climax; “Poison Heart” mood is undermined by metallic creaks and groans; and though “So Much Love” picks up the pace, Gahan’s assurance that “There is so much love in me” seems tragically far-fetched.

Album Review: Depeche Mode - Spirit
Soon, though, as the album approaches its zenith, tempers begin to flare once again. Despite “Poorman” starting out like a crowd-pleasing return to Depeche Mode’s expansive, anthemic strengths, accompanied by growling guitars and an increasingly crushing, militant backing – follows an ever more indignant path from descriptions of begging vagrants to the root cause of their penury: “Corporations get the breaks/ Keeping almost everything they make/ Tell us how long it’s going to take/ For it to trickle down…” To find an Electro Pop star addressing supply-side economics is notable enough, but, more admirably, the song’s tension is never resolved, not even by the comparatively conventional follower “No More”.

Affairs culminate in an apparently even bleaker state, Gahan’s restrained, high- pitched delivery rendering his voice uncommonly wretched. People, he pleads, “Do we call this trying? We’re hopeless!/ Forget the denying!/ Our souls are corrupt/ Our consciences bankrupt”. Then, in no uncertain terms, he concludes, mournfully, “Oh, we’re f***ed…”

But, though this may sound like a concession to defeat rather than a victorious climax, there’s something about the song’s closing 30 seconds that contradicts this. All sparkles and glimmers – somehow reminiscent of the moment in Blade Runner when Rutger Hauer’s Roy Batty conjures up images of “attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion” – it packs the band off on a cautiously optimistic note.

Credit is, of course, due to James Ford for his role in making this one of the most forceful productions of recent years: the Mode have arguably never sounded grittier – nor more vicious, nor vital – than here.

Still, when one thinks about it, this is what Depeche Mode have always been aiming for: a subject to perfectly suit their glistening, ominous, futuristic creations. That they emerged from UKIP stronghold Essex may be no coincidence: ‘Spirit’ addresses some grand themes, but it appears to have emerged from genuine, heartfelt concern at both the state of the world and, more specifically, their country. They may begin by announcing that “We feel nothing inside”, and end with the words “We’ve failed”, but, whatever’s happening elsewhere, this cannot be said of the band. “Fail” was definitely my favorite song.

No question, Depeche Mode have succeeded. They sense what’s happening, they’ve articulated it gloriously, and ‘Spirit’ is a crucial statement, both musically and politically. The fact that they’re one of the first acts to truly encapsulate this mood is the only disappointment.

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Hi, my name is Erick Ycaza. I have a BA in Advertising & Graphic Design. This blog is to provide you with daily music news and share my personal style.

Electro-Pop

Thamatic Work Their Magic On Futuristic New Track, “Spacesuit”

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futuristic new track
Thamatic
are true stars in the making. Combining experimental music, Electronica and even Pop, here you have a futuristic new track entitled “Spacesuit”. For some absolutely chilled out vibes, be sure to peep their latest clip below. The first thing that comes to mind when listening to this composition is a science fiction film. As a matter of fact, lyrics revolve around the story of a man, God, and technology. Strange as it may seem, innovations ahead frighten certain people. Undoubtedly, high-tech will shape the future, so this song leads us to question ourselves about the world of tomorrow.

To say it in plain English, the story behind this tune is compelling and thought-provoking. Currently, Thamatic are working on a music video for “After School”, which will feature some interesting helicopter scenes. What’s more, their upcoming record ‘The Final Album’ will come straight out of the oven soon. Most of their new songs were produced in collaboration with Sean O’Keefe who is partly responsible for Fall Out Boy, Plain White T’s and Ed Sheeran’s hits. Stay tuned for more news!

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Electro-Pop

Wanna Go Back To The 80s? Disco Volante Returns With New Song, “Reboot!”

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Disco Volante
Electro-Pop pioneer Terry Tanx aka Disco Volante is back with “Reboot!”. If you want to relive your 80s childhood, this new track could bring you back good memories. The British artist’s main influences could be described as a mix between David Bowie and Soft Cell. For this reason, experimental aesthetics forms part of his latest clip, which looks like a dazzling collage of odd images, check it out!

With so much energy, he balances nostalgia with effervescent synths, drum machine beats, and varied effects. Of course, he makes sure to keep retro vibes alive as we all enjoy it. Therefore, “Reboot!” is no other thing than electronic goodness. Furthermore, you will be pleased to hear his inventive lyrics and existential wonders. Expect originality on his forthcoming album ‘The Last Days Of Disco Volante’ to be released soon.

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Electro-Pop

Electro-Pop Hits Of 2019 — Spotify Playlist

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Electro-Pop Hits Of 2019 — Spotify Playlist
Listen to cutting-edge sounds from indie and well-known artists from the music industry. As we look to the past months, there are hundreds of  Electro-Pop hits but only the best of them make into this Spotify playlist. From haunting textures to dreamy synths, all you need are these upbeat melodies. In the course of 2019, I will be uploading more and more tracks for your listening pleasure. Additionally, you’re welcome to send me suggestions that match the genre. So, meanwhile, you can trust in my musical taste. Follow this exclusive playlist and expect the most exciting songs in the coming weeks. 😉

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Electro-Pop

What A Bombastic Musical Explosion! Here’s Hot Chip’s “Melody Of Love”

“Melody Of Love” is Hot Chip’s second single, which has been promoted with a fantastic video directed by Nima Nourizadeh.

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Hot Chip
returns with the seventh studio album, ‘A Bath Full Of Ecstasy’. Almost all their new Electro-Pop songs burst with energy. For instance, “Melody Of Love” (second single), has been promoted by the band with a fantastic video directed by Nima Nourizadeh. As a result, I think visuals are 100% memorable.

Just put on your headphones on and the whole track feels like a bombastic musical explosion in your ears. You can’t deny Alexis Taylor’s angelic vocals are literally pure gold. Influenced by a Gospel-like style, “Melody Of Love” features a sample from The Mighty Clouds of Joy. Beyond that, it’s truly romantic. I hope you like it as much as I do.

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Electro-Pop

Discover Why Martone’s Song “Inside Out” Carries A Simple Yet Powerful Message

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Inside Out Martone
Martone
‘s second single “Inside Out” off the new album ‘Erogenous Zone’ is a must-listen. First of all, this is an empowering anthem with a simple yet powerful message. By all means, lyrics are rich and meaningful due to its concept, which revolves around self-love. When we love ourselves, others will love us too. An easy solution to our problems. In this sense, I would say loving yourself it’s just a matter of practice.

Naturally, Martone is an expert when it comes to exploring relationships through his music. With crystal clear vocals, this song becomes medicine as he taught us that we can learn from past mistakes. Furthermore, it’s never too late to start a new life from scratch. The more you play “Inside Out”, the more you’ll understand how strong are Martone’s words. On a side note, “Inside Out” is a contender for the Grammy Awards for Pop Performance. Enjoy it!

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