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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

Billie Eilish’s “Everything I Wanted” Video Has A Surprise Ending

See Billie Eilish’s music video and wait for the surprise ending! She wrote “Everything I Wanted” along with her brother, Finneas.

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Billie Eilish's "Everything I Wanted" Video Has A Surprise Ending
See Billie Eilish‘s music video and wait for the surprise ending! She wrote “Everything I Wanted” along with her brother, Finneas. It’s a brand new road trip song you’ll have to consider for your car playlist. In fact, in the clip, the 18-year-old artist takes a ride to an unknown destination. As the plot develops, you will notice everything looks more like a nightmare.

If you’re interested in smooth, slow Electro-Pop rhythms, then this tune was made for your ears. Billie’s ethereal/heavenly vocals are my favorite part of the whole composition. Her voice is out of this world, and it’ll give you goosebumps. Finally, I can understand why she won 5 Grammys in the last 62nd edition.

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Electro-Pop

Pet Shop Boys Reappear In New Music Video, “Monkey Business”

It’s great to see Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe actually in the video for “Monkey Business”. Believe it or not, the last clip where Pet Shop Boys appears was on “Thursday” six years ago.

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Pet Shop Boys Reappears In New Music Video, "Monkey Business"
It’s great to see Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe actually in the video for “Monkey Business”. Believe it or not, the last clip where Pet Shop Boys appear was on “Thursday” six years ago. On this occasion, they are back with a groovy/funky melody that lacks the energy it requires to be played at the clubs. Perhaps, I believe it was designed to be remixed…

Anyway, their 14th studio album, ‘Hotspot’ produced by Stuart Price sounds pretty amazing. I swear I can’t stop playing the upbeat anthems “Happy People”, as well as, “Wedding In Berlin”. On the other hand, Electro-Pop gems like “Hoping For A Miracle”, and “Only The Dark” are particularly blissful. Stream in full down here via Spotify:

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Electro-Pop

“Like Me”: Adam Davenport And MFJ Create An Electro-Pop Triumph

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"Like Me": Adam Davenport And MFJ Create An Electro-Pop Triumph
“Like Me” is a soothing and pleasant Electro-Pop ballad from the first African-American producer to chart himself on Billboard for the EDM category. Of course, I’m talking about Adam Davenport who collaborates with MFJ for this singalong anthem released via Sound Red. As a curious note, the producer lends his own heart and vocals on a song that feels like a retrospective on a cold relationship. Therefore, if the person you love ignores your value, then it’s better to move on.  Well, this is the message the artist wants to portray on this tune, especially if you’re still heartbroken.

Co-written with Gail Grossman, “Like Me” can even be relatable to many of us. In other words, it’s a lyrical triumph filled with pure emotion. And that’s exactly the kind of music we enjoy listening to nowadays. Check this out!

 

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Electro-Pop

The Weeknd Had A Bad LSD Trip In New Video For “Blinding Lights”

Finally, The Weeknd releases the official music video for his fresh hit “Blinding Lights”. Certainly, it is possible to sum up the whole visuals as a bad LSD trip.

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The Weeknd Had A Bad LSD Trip In New Video For "Blinding Lights"
Finally, The Weeknd releases the official music video for his fresh hit “Blinding Lights”. Certainly, it is possible to sum up the whole visuals as a bad LSD trip. With high-quality cinematic aesthetics, the Electro-Pop singer finds himself dazed and high at Las Vegas’ streets. More than one will agree this clip kinda gives us Joker vibes, and I really hope the film wins all 11 Oscar nominations this year.

In my opinion, sonically, “Blinding Lights” is as catchy as his most popular song, “I Feel It Coming”. Rumors are swirling about the artist’s 4th studio album, however, nothing has been confirmed yet. Stay tuned for additional announcements soon.

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Electro-Pop

Take A Look At Tove Lo’s Funny Video, “Bikini Porn”

Tove Lo goes crazy as she can’t stop dancing half-naked in her latest music video for “Bikini Porn”.

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Take A Look At Tove Lo's Funny Video, "Bikini Porn"
Tove Lo
goes crazy as she can’t stop dancing half-naked in her latest music video for “Bikini Porn”. Of course, it looks funny, awkward, and you’ll simply love her sassy charisma. Even, Billie Eilish’s brother, Finneas, who produced this track, makes a cameo as an UBER driver. The  VHS-quality clip was shot in Victorville and Hesperia, two small towns in the California desert. I’m still not sure if this surprising tune forms part of a new album or an EP. All I know is that she has created something memorable and catchy once again. I hope you like it as much as I do.

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Summary
Take A Look At Tove Lo's Funny Video, "Bikini Porn"
Title
Take A Look At Tove Lo's Funny Video, "Bikini Porn"
Description

Tove Lo goes crazy as she can't stop dancing half-naked in her latest music video for "Bikini Porn". Of course, it looks funny, awkward, and you'll simply love her sassy charisma.

Continue Reading

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