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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

WATCH: Jessy Lanza’s Fans Go WILD In This Hilarious Music Video!

We love so much hilarious and weird clips like “Lick In Heaven” by Jessy Lanza. Her latest Electro-Pop single is literally infectious and somewhat memorable.

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WATCH: Jessy Lanza's Fans Go WILD In This Hilarious Music Video!

We love so much hilarious and weird clips like “Lick In Heaven” by Jessy Lanza. Her latest Electro-Pop single is literally infectious and somewhat memorable. On this occasion, the video director, Winston H Case knows how to make everyone laugh with his creative vision. What’s more, everything takes place on a TV set.

You’ll see how the whole audience goes literally wild and having the time of their lives once the Canadian singer plays the synths in front of them. Trust me, I think all of us would act the same way as their fans because nobody can’t deny Jessy’s new song is pure perfection. “Lick In Heaven” is so good for both, mind and soul. Enjoy!

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Electro-Pop

“Strange”, An Electro-Pop Gem Everyone Should Listen To

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It’s not easy to find Electro-Pop gems these days. Luckily, the talented singer, Eivind Husebø brings hope back to listeners with a gorgeous song called “Strange”. Actually, it is a cover of Bloom, a popular Norwegian band that was active in the early 2000s. Believe it or not, Eivind’s elder brother, Kjetil, was part of this project, acquiring a good reputation with multiple performances in TV and local festivals.

According to Eivind, lyrics feel very personal and meaningful. In my opinion, it’s about overcoming fears, obstacles in order to enjoy freedom on your own. I like how passionate vocals dominate the chorus. At the same time, it is mostly driven by magical synths and electric guitars in terms of melody. Well, he certainly knows how to build up to a crescendo, and everyone should listen to “Strange” simply because it’s a pleasant take on the original.

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Unbelievable Powerful Vocals! Take A Listen To Myles Marcus’ “Savage”

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Unbelievable Powerful Vocals! Take A Listen To Myles Marcus' "Savage"
Without a doubt, Myles Marcus‘ powerful vocals shine on “Savage”. The New Jersey native moved from making covers on YouTube to catchy original songs of his own authorship. Well, more than one will feel identified with his newest song that deals with a selfish lover. If you keep expecting someone to change, you’re harboring a huge amount of resentment towards your relationship. Therefore, this song best describes your feelings when you know there’s a lot going on in your love life.

Sonically, I would describe it as Electro-Pop music for the dancefloors. Furthermore, the soulful touch Myles adds to the composition is sure to give you an eargasm when listening. In a nutshell, it’s an outstanding track that is rapidly cracking thousands of streams via Spotify. Press play below to find out why.

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Electro-Pop

La Roux’s Elly Jackson Returns With New Song, “Automatic Driver”

One of the best Electro-Pop singers in the world is back! Obviously, I’m talking about Elly Jackson from La Roux.

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La Roux's Elly Jackson Returns With New Song, "Automatic Driver"

One of the best Electro-Pop singers in the world is back! Obviously, I’m talking about Elly Jackson from La Roux. The last time I heard her vocals layered over pleasant synths was a long time ago… Well, I’m glad to know she returns with a fresh album entitled, ‘Supervision’. The second single from her third studio album is called “Automatic Driver”. Basically, it revolves around a breakout, where things don’t seem to be working. On the other hand, its visually stunning clip shows the artist playing the role of a golf player. In conclusion, La Roux’s comeback is better than everything I have ever imagined in 2020. I am a fan of Elly’s work because it feels very reminiscent of the 80s music era, and she preserves this aspect to date. You just gotta enjoy her new melodies!

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Electro-Pop

Don’t Resist, Sing Out Loud Taylor Grey’s Catchy Hit “COMPLIC8ED”

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Don't Resist, Sing Out Loud Taylor Grey's Catchy Hit "COMPLIC8ED"

You won’t be able to resist singing along to this infectious song titled, “COMPLIC8ED”. Taylor Grey is well on her way up in the Electro-Pop scene. If you don’t tap your feet to the musical beats, then you’re probably not human. The 22-year-old artist along with producer Imad Royal threw all their energies on this hit that easily gets stuck in your head.

Visuals project scenes of desert landscapes and a complex story of a bride who ends up alone in her loneliness. Taylor has too much to offer this year. In fact, she dominates the art of storytelling as a songwriter. On a side note, she has shared the stage with the likes of Flo Rida, Fall Out Boy, Walk the Moon, Sabrina Carpenter, among others. Most recently, her international tour with Why Don’t We was quite a success. Get additional updates via her social media channels below.

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