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Depeche Mode|Memento Mori

Memento Mori

Depeche Mode

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If you’d told David Gahan and Martin Gore a year before the release of this latest album (which was still in the making at that time) that its title would be somewhat foreboding, the pair would likely have agreed, but for a rather different reason. Memento Mori roughly translates to ‘remember you’re going to die’—that’s what was on Gahan’s mind having just entered his sixties, whilst also remembering his stepfather, the man who raised and cared for him, who had died at just 61. But fate would prove both twisted and cruel when, without warning, it would take the life of Andy Fletcher on 26th May 2022. Depeche Mode’s third man was just 60 years old.

However, this sudden death was not what primarily guided the somber, melancholic content of the record. Most of it was composed during the pandemic, which must have forced the band to ask themselves countless questions about their existence, their future and how these doubts would be manifested within their music (though Fletcher’s death would inevitably alter their approach to these same compositions). This all gives rise to a record which, whilst rejecting any semblance of ‘joie-de-vivre’, is a real return to more gothic, vintage and organic sounds. The album’s quasi-industrial opener, ‘My Cosmos is Mine’, sets the tone for the darker journey to come. The album takes a more stripped-back approach to the melodies, where Gahan’s sobering voice steers clear of all excess.

In the midst of this darkness, the emphasis on synthesized sounds from a seemingly bygone era strikes a nostalgic chord without losing its edge (‘Wagging Tongue’, ‘Never Let Me Go’). These textures are accompanied by more saturated tones, taking us right back to their flirtations with rock in the 90s (‘My Favourite Stranger’). Memento Mori sounds like a kind of condensed version of the band’s more delicate songs without becoming a simple reconstruction of them. It has a subtle beauty which surely highlights the expertise of the musicians behind it, despite being somewhat overshadowed by the erratic nature of their discography over the last twenty years. Light filters through the cracks here and there on this album however, like the song ‘People are Good’, reminiscent of the classic ‘People are People’ released almost forty years ago. Remember that you’re meant to enjoy it… © Chief Brody/Qobuz

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Memento Mori

Depeche Mode

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1
My Cosmos Is Mine
00:05:16

Gregg White, Assistant Engineer - Martin L. Gore, Composer, Lyricist - Depeche Mode, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - James Ford, Producer, Drums, Percussion, Programmer, Synthesizer - Matt Colton, Mastering Engineer - Marta salogni, Engineer, Programmer, Mixing Engineer - Grace Banks, Assistant Engineer - Francine Perry, Assistant Engineer

(P) 2023 Venusnote Ltd., under exclusive license to Columbia Records, a Division of Sony Music Entertainment

2
Wagging Tongue
00:03:24

Dave Gahan, Composer, Lyricist - Martin L. Gore, Composer, Lyricist - Depeche Mode, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - James Ford, Producer, Programmer, Synthesizer - Matt Colton, Mastering Engineer - Marta salogni, Engineer, Programmer, Mixing Engineer - Grace Banks, Assistant Engineer - Francine Perry, Assistant Engineer

(P) 2023 Venusnote Ltd., under exclusive license to Columbia Records, a Division of Sony Music Entertainment

3
Ghosts Again
00:03:58

Richard Butler, Composer, Lyricist - Davide Rossi, Cello, Violin, Strings - Gregg White, Assistant Engineer - Martin L. Gore, Composer, Lyricist - Depeche Mode, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - James Ford, Producer, Drums, Percussion, Piano, Programmer, Synthesizer - Matt Colton, Mastering Engineer - Marta salogni, Engineer, Programmer, Mixing Engineer - Desiree Hazley, Violin - Luanne Homzy, Violin - Grace Banks, Assistant Engineer - Francine Perry, Assistant Engineer - Adrian Hierholzer, Vocal Engineer

(P) 2023 Venusnote Ltd., under exclusive license to Columbia Records, a Division of Sony Music Entertainment

4
Don't Say You Love Me
00:03:48

Richard Butler, Composer, Lyricist - Davide Rossi, Cello, Violin, Strings - Gregg White, Assistant Engineer - Martin L. Gore, Composer, Lyricist - Depeche Mode, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - James Ford, Producer, Drums, Guitar, Percussion, Programmer, Pedal Steel Guitar, Strings, Synthesizer - Matt Colton, Mastering Engineer - Marta salogni, Engineer, Programmer, Mixing Engineer - Desiree Hazley, Violin - Luanne Homzy, Violin - Grace Banks, Assistant Engineer - Francine Perry, Assistant Engineer - Adrian Hierholzer, Vocal Engineer

(P) 2023 Venusnote Ltd., under exclusive license to Columbia Records, a Division of Sony Music Entertainment

5
My Favourite Stranger
00:03:57

Richard Butler, Composer, Lyricist - Davide Rossi, Cello, Violin, Strings - Gregg White, Assistant Engineer - Martin L. Gore, Composer, Lyricist - Depeche Mode, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - James Ford, Producer, Drums, Bass Guitar, Percussion, Programmer, Synthesizer - Matt Colton, Mastering Engineer - Marta salogni, Engineer, Programmer, Mixing Engineer - Desiree Hazley, Violin - Luanne Homzy, Violin - Grace Banks, Assistant Engineer - Francine Perry, Assistant Engineer

(P) 2023 Venusnote Ltd., under exclusive license to Columbia Records, a Division of Sony Music Entertainment

6
Soul With Me
00:04:15

Davide Rossi, Cello, Violin, Strings - Gregg White, Assistant Engineer - Martin L. Gore, Composer, Lyricist - Depeche Mode, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - James Ford, Producer, Drums, Guitar, Percussion, Programmer, Synthesizer - Matt Colton, Mastering Engineer - Marta salogni, Engineer, Programmer, Mixing Engineer - Desiree Hazley, Violin - Luanne Homzy, Violin - Grace Banks, Assistant Engineer - Francine Perry, Assistant Engineer

(P) 2023 Venusnote Ltd., under exclusive license to Columbia Records, a Division of Sony Music Entertainment

7
Caroline's Monkey
00:04:16

Richard Butler, Composer, Lyricist - Martin L. Gore, Composer, Lyricist - Depeche Mode, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - James Ford, Producer, Programmer, Synthesizer - Matt Colton, Mastering Engineer - Marta salogni, Engineer, Programmer, Mixing Engineer - Grace Banks, Assistant Engineer - Francine Perry, Assistant Engineer

(P) 2023 Venusnote Ltd., under exclusive license to Columbia Records, a Division of Sony Music Entertainment

8
Before We Drown
00:04:05

Peter Gordeno, Composer, Lyricist, Programmer - Dave Gahan, Composer, Lyricist - Davide Rossi, Cello, Violin, Strings - Gregg White, Assistant Engineer - Depeche Mode, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - James Ford, Producer, Drums, Percussion, Programmer, Synthesizer - Matt Colton, Mastering Engineer - Christian Eigner, Composer, Lyricist, Programmer - Marta salogni, Engineer, Programmer, Mixing Engineer - Desiree Hazley, Violin - Luanne Homzy, Violin - Grace Banks, Assistant Engineer - Francine Perry, Assistant Engineer

(P) 2023 Venusnote Ltd., under exclusive license to Columbia Records, a Division of Sony Music Entertainment

9
People Are Good
00:04:24

Martin L. Gore, Composer, Lyricist - Depeche Mode, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - James Ford, Producer - Matt Colton, Mastering Engineer - Marta salogni, Engineer, Programmer, Mixing Engineer - Grace Banks, Assistant Engineer - Francine Perry, Assistant Engineer

(P) 2023 Venusnote Ltd., under exclusive license to Columbia Records, a Division of Sony Music Entertainment

10
Always You
00:04:18

Davide Rossi, Cello, Violin, Strings - Gregg White, Assistant Engineer - Martin L. Gore, Composer, Lyricist - Depeche Mode, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - James Ford, Producer, Drums, Percussion, Programmer, Synthesizer - Matt Colton, Mastering Engineer - Marta salogni, Engineer, Programmer, Mixing Engineer - Desiree Hazley, Violin - Luanne Homzy, Violin - Grace Banks, Assistant Engineer - Francine Perry, Assistant Engineer

(P) 2023 Venusnote Ltd., under exclusive license to Columbia Records, a Division of Sony Music Entertainment

11
Never Let Me Go
00:04:03

Gregg White, Assistant Engineer - Martin L. Gore, Composer, Lyricist - Depeche Mode, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - James Ford, Producer, Drums, Guitar, Bass Guitar, Percussion, Programmer, Synthesizer - Matt Colton, Mastering Engineer - Marta salogni, Engineer, Programmer, Mixing Engineer - Grace Banks, Assistant Engineer - Francine Perry, Assistant Engineer - Adrian Hierholzer, Vocal Engineer

(P) 2023 Venusnote Ltd., under exclusive license to Columbia Records, a Division of Sony Music Entertainment

12
Speak To Me
00:04:35

Dave Gahan, Composer, Lyricist - Davide Rossi, Cello, Violin, Strings - Gregg White, Assistant Engineer - Depeche Mode, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - James Ford, Composer, Lyricist, Producer, Drums, Bass Guitar, Percussion, Programmer, Strings, Synthesizer - Matt Colton, Mastering Engineer - Christian Eigner, Composer, Lyricist, Programmer - Marta salogni, Composer, Lyricist, Engineer, Programmer, Mixing Engineer - Desiree Hazley, Violin - Luanne Homzy, Violin - Grace Banks, Assistant Engineer - Francine Perry, Assistant Engineer

(P) 2023 Venusnote Ltd., under exclusive license to Columbia Records, a Division of Sony Music Entertainment

Presentación del Álbum

If you’d told David Gahan and Martin Gore a year before the release of this latest album (which was still in the making at that time) that its title would be somewhat foreboding, the pair would likely have agreed, but for a rather different reason. Memento Mori roughly translates to ‘remember you’re going to die’—that’s what was on Gahan’s mind having just entered his sixties, whilst also remembering his stepfather, the man who raised and cared for him, who had died at just 61. But fate would prove both twisted and cruel when, without warning, it would take the life of Andy Fletcher on 26th May 2022. Depeche Mode’s third man was just 60 years old.

However, this sudden death was not what primarily guided the somber, melancholic content of the record. Most of it was composed during the pandemic, which must have forced the band to ask themselves countless questions about their existence, their future and how these doubts would be manifested within their music (though Fletcher’s death would inevitably alter their approach to these same compositions). This all gives rise to a record which, whilst rejecting any semblance of ‘joie-de-vivre’, is a real return to more gothic, vintage and organic sounds. The album’s quasi-industrial opener, ‘My Cosmos is Mine’, sets the tone for the darker journey to come. The album takes a more stripped-back approach to the melodies, where Gahan’s sobering voice steers clear of all excess.

In the midst of this darkness, the emphasis on synthesized sounds from a seemingly bygone era strikes a nostalgic chord without losing its edge (‘Wagging Tongue’, ‘Never Let Me Go’). These textures are accompanied by more saturated tones, taking us right back to their flirtations with rock in the 90s (‘My Favourite Stranger’). Memento Mori sounds like a kind of condensed version of the band’s more delicate songs without becoming a simple reconstruction of them. It has a subtle beauty which surely highlights the expertise of the musicians behind it, despite being somewhat overshadowed by the erratic nature of their discography over the last twenty years. Light filters through the cracks here and there on this album however, like the song ‘People are Good’, reminiscent of the classic ‘People are People’ released almost forty years ago. Remember that you’re meant to enjoy it… © Chief Brody/Qobuz

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