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Pop/Rock - Released March 22, 2013 | Columbia

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The strange thing about Depeche Mode is that even when they possess the wisdom that comes from being put through the wringer -- both as a band about to break up and lead singer David Gahan's struggles with addiction -- they are still quite good at making self-destruction sound seductive. Everybody knows that was the devil talking in "Personal Jesus," while "Strangelove," "Behind the Wheel," and so many other prime Depeche tunes sink in a sea of sin or drown in damnation, and the band sound like they're in the throes of ecstasy while doing it. Delta Machine, the band's 13th album, feeds off this negative energy and winds like a snake the whole time, slithering through a well-written (ten songs from Martin Gore with three coming from Gahan) and lusciously recorded set of serpentine siren songs (behind the boards there's Playing the Angel and Sounds of the Universe producer Ben Hillier, plus longtime asset Flood providing the mix). "Heaven" is a simmering ballad, combining the sexy and lusty attitude of "Personal Jesus" with the reserve of their 2005 hit "Precious." The great "Alone" seems the quintessential post-millennial Depeche track with music that glitches, groans, and somehow grabs the listener, while the lyrics give away the big conundrum "I couldn't tell if you were blessed or cursed," which is the sexiest trait ever according to the Mode. With some blues-rock guitar and the darkest synthetic landscape underneath, key track "Slow" is a lusty wish to delay la petit mort, while "Should Be Higher" suggests "When the shame and the guilt are removed and the truth will appear" as if the Rocky Horror Picture Show's "Don't Dream It, Be It" traded its camp for carnal desire. "Should Be Higher" is also one of the rare moments where the beat is pushed, so those who still expect the dancefloor side of the group will be disappointed with this slower set. Those who don't buy into the dark eroticism that drives the album will be disappointed as well, but don't mistake "dour" for "down for it" when it comes dressed-in-leather pants, because the simmering and dark Delta Machine is certainly the latter. ~ David Jeffries
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Pop/Rock - Released March 22, 2013 | Columbia

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The strange thing about Depeche Mode is that even when they possess the wisdom that comes from being put through the wringer -- both as a band about to break up and lead singer David Gahan's struggles with addiction -- they are still quite good at making self-destruction sound seductive. Everybody knows that was the devil talking in "Personal Jesus," while "Strangelove," "Behind the Wheel," and so many other prime Depeche tunes sink in a sea of sin or drown in damnation, and the band sound like they're in the throes of ecstasy while doing it. Delta Machine, the band's 13th album, feeds off this negative energy and winds like a snake the whole time, slithering through a well-written (ten songs from Martin Gore with three coming from Gahan) and lusciously recorded set of serpentine siren songs (behind the boards there's Playing the Angel and Sounds of the Universe producer Ben Hillier, plus longtime asset Flood providing the mix). "Heaven" is a simmering ballad, combining the sexy and lusty attitude of "Personal Jesus" with the reserve of their 2005 hit "Precious." The great "Alone" seems the quintessential post-millennial Depeche track with music that glitches, groans, and somehow grabs the listener, while the lyrics give away the big conundrum "I couldn't tell if you were blessed or cursed," which is the sexiest trait ever according to the Mode. With some blues-rock guitar and the darkest synthetic landscape underneath, key track "Slow" is a lusty wish to delay la petit mort, while "Should Be Higher" suggests "When the shame and the guilt are removed and the truth will appear" as if the Rocky Horror Picture Show's "Don't Dream It, Be It" traded its camp for carnal desire. "Should Be Higher" is also one of the rare moments where the beat is pushed, so those who still expect the dancefloor side of the group will be disappointed with this slower set. Those who don't buy into the dark eroticism that drives the album will be disappointed as well, but don't mistake "dour" for "down for it" when it comes dressed-in-leather pants, because the simmering and dark Delta Machine is certainly the latter. ~ David Jeffries
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Alternative & Indie - Released March 17, 2017 | Columbia

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In a time of sociopolitical upheaval, Depeche Mode emerged with Spirit. Dark, brooding, and painfully relevant upon its release, the collection is one of their most intense and aggressive statements, isolating the frustration, anger, tension, and dread coursing across the globe in the wake of the 2016 U.S. presidential election and Brexit. With little subtlety, Depeche Mode take aim and leave few survivors. Producer James Ford (Simian Mobile Disco, Arctic Monkeys, Florence + the Machine) revives the trio after their two prior lackluster efforts and turns Spirit into a highlight of their late era, the strongest effort since 2005's Playing the Angel. From a fiery pulpit, Dave Gahan hurls line after line chastising the masses, wondering how the world got into such a bind. He points the finger at "misinformation," "misguided leaders," "apathetic hesitation," and "uneducated readers" on "The Worst Crime," taking his own share of responsibility by admitting "we are all charged with treason." On "Going Backwards," he fears a regression "to a caveman mentality." When Martin Gore joins him, they come to a dire conclusion: "We feel nothing inside/Because there's nothing inside." If the perpetually gloomy pair think affairs are this bad, perhaps there really is no hope (a decision Gore flirts with on "Fail" when he laments, "Our conscience is bankrupt/Oh, we're fucked"). Despite such desperation, the band doesn't allow for much time to be paralyzed by fear and complacency. Like parents telling their children they're "so disappointed" in them in the hopes of sparking a little reverse-psychology motivation, Spirit is Depeche Mode's challenge for us to prove them wrong. The swaggering "Where's the Revolution" is a call to arms that could double as effective propaganda for resistance recruitment, while the hammering "So Much Love" takes a defiant stand in the face of hate, wielding love as a weapon to fight the good fight. Meanwhile, on the pure and vulnerable "Eternal," Gore -- restraining his late-era vibrato -- promises to love and protect a loved one in uncertain times. However, when love is not enough, there's the visceral "Scum," a savage throbber that swells with ominous synths as Gahan asks, "Hey scum, what are you gonna do when karma comes?" before goading said miscreant to "pull the trigger." On Spirit, Gahan once again flexes his songwriting muscles, which have only gotten stronger after his work with Soulsavers. The sexy "You Move," written with Gore, is a club-ready standout that pulses from the darkest corners found on Ultra and Gahan's Hourglass, while the carnal "Poison Heart" is another Soulsavers-esque affair, as sleazy and spiritual as he gets. Robust and fearless, Spirit may end up being one of the earliest and best salvos of its political era. Despite dour lyrics to the contrary, Depeche Mode haven't given up on humanity. Spirit exhumes the remains of our better nature and demands its resurrection. ~ Neil Z. Yeung
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Alternative & Indie - Released November 14, 2014 | Columbia

The saying "never trust a synth pop band over 30" goes out the window as the arena-filling Depeche Mode present the 2014 film Live in Berlin, a career-spanning set that breathes new life into old numbers, while tackling new tunes with the same power and commitment. Thank lead singer and hyped showman David Gahan for all the power, as on this soundtrack, he growls, cries out, and full-bodied croons these soul-bearing lyrics, including the Delta Machine newbie "Should Be Higher," which soars about three or four stories higher that its studio version. Gahan takes the verses as if he's Leonard Cohen, and then belts the chorus like he's Freddie Mercury crossed with Trent Reznor, but in the case of fan favorite "Enjoy the Silence," he's often off the mike, allowing the audience to take over the singing with a couple "come on!"'s in support. The first disc's "Black Celebration" and "But Not Tonight" preview the second disc's absolute overflow of classic chestnuts, up to and including the early hit "Just Can't Get Enough," which is reborn as a roto-tom-fueled stadium anthem. Those who don't like their Depeche so "big" and "rawk!" can skip it, but fans looking to celebrate some 34 years of dancing with the dour get to do so thanks to Live in Berlin, with their fists high in the air. ~ David Jeffries
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Rock - Released April 17, 2009 | Venusnote Ltd.

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Pop - Released March 16, 1990 | Rhino - Warner Records

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Pop - Released March 21, 2018 | BMG Rights Management - Mute Records Ltd.

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Alternative & Indie - Released March 17, 2017 | Columbia

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Alternative & Indie - Released April 4, 1997 | Warner Records

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Pop - Released March 25, 1986 | Rhino - Warner Records

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Pop - Released October 6, 1987 | Rhino - Warner Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released October 17, 1984 | Warner Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released November 14, 2006 | Sire - Reprise

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Alternative & Indie - Released October 3, 2006 | Warner Records

Five years after 101, Depeche once again decided to make a concert film from the Songs of Faith and Devotion European tour in 1993, this time with their favored video director Anton Corbijn. The choice was a smart one, given not only Corbijn's long experience with the group but his regular work in designing the band's stage presentation. The end result trumps the curious Songs of Faith and Devotion Live album by a mile, presenting the show in a more accurate reflection of the set list for that tour while not limiting itself simply to songs from that album. Unlike 101, there's no framing device of fans in Devotional -- it's simply a recording of a concert, no narration or breaks. It's more of a piece than 101, given the clear contrast in D.A. Pennebaker's cinéma vérité style and Corbijn's generally more deliberate approach. Soft focus is the rule, lending a weird, dreamy quality to the visuals, while the intertwining of Corbijn's own concert films and the moody overall lighting works wonders. The biggest change in the band itself came courtesy of David Gahan, fully in his long-haired and tattooed rock star mode. The knowledge that he was just beginning a lengthy downward spiral into drug abuse inevitably makes his performance a tainted one in retrospect, but to his credit he still puts on a fiery show, his usual crowd-pleasing, mic-stand twirling self. The rest of the band keeps to their usual level of commitment -- Alan Wilder and Martin Gore fully into things, Andy Fletcher mostly standing there and keeping the mood going. Standouts include the opening "Higher Love," wonderfully introducing the band behind light projections and screens while slow dissolves match the song's building drama, and triumphant takes on "Never Let Me Down Again" (complete with the arm waving as in 101) and "Enjoy the Silence." Technical note -- for unknown reasons, the European release contains an extra 18 minutes of footage, including performances of "Mercy in You," "Fly on the Windscreen," and "Everything Counts." ~ Ned Raggett
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Pop - Released September 23, 1998 | Rhino - Warner Records

It took Depeche Mode only four years to assemble their first singles compilation, but 12 to assemble The Singles 86>98. Appropriately, the second set was much more ambitious than The Singles 81>85, spanning two discs and 20 songs, plus a live version of "Everything Counts." The Singles 86>98 was an album that many fans, both casual and hardcore, waited patiently for, and for good reason -- Depeche Mode were always more effective as a singles band than as album artists. That's not to say that the double-disc compilation is perfect. DM's output fluctuated wildly during those 12 years, as the group hit both career highs and lows. It's possible to hear it all on this set, from "Strangelove" and "Never Let Me Down Again," through "Personal Jesus" and "Enjoy the Silence," to "I Feel You" and "Barrel of a Gun." It's possible that some casual listeners will find that the collection meanders a bit too much for their tastes, but the end result is definitive and, along with The Singles 81>85, ranks as Depeche Mode's best, most listenable album. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Pop - Released September 14, 1983 | Rhino - Warner Records

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The full addition of Alan Wilder to Depeche Mode's lineup created a perfect troika that would last another 11 years, as the combination of Martin Gore's songwriting, Wilder's arranging, and David Gahan's singing and live star power resulted in an ever more compelling series of albums and singles. Construction Time Again, the new lineup's first full effort, is a bit hit and miss nonetheless, but when it does hit, it does so perfectly. Right from the album's first song, "Love, In Itself," something is clearly up; Depeche never sounded quite so thick with its sound before, with synths arranged into a mini-orchestra/horn section and real piano and acoustic guitar spliced in at strategic points. Two tracks later, "Pipeline" offers the first clear hint of an increasing industrial influence (the bandmembers were early fans of Einstürzende Neubauten), with clattering metal samples and oddly chain gang-like lyrics and vocals. The album's clear highlight has to be "Everything Counts," a live staple for years, combining a deceptively simple, ironic lyric about the music business with a perfectly catchy but unusually arranged blending of more metallic scraping samples and melodica amid even more forceful funk/hip-hop beats. Elsewhere, on "Shame" and "Told You So," Gore's lyrics start taking on more of the obsessive personal relationship studies that would soon dominate his writing. Wilder's own songwriting contributions are fine musically, but lyrically, "preachy" puts it mildly, especially the environment-friendly "The Landscape Is Changing." ~ Ned Raggett
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Pop - Released September 27, 1982 | Rhino - Warner Records

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Martin Gore has famously noted that Depeche Mode stopped worrying about its future when the first post-Vince Clarke-departure single, "See You," placed even higher on the English charts than anything else Clarke had done with them. Such confidence carries through all of A Broken Frame, a notably more ambitious effort than the pure pop/disco of the band's debut. With arranging genius Alan Wilder still one album away from fully joining the band, Frame became very much Gore's record, writing all the songs and exploring various styles never again touched upon in later years. "Satellite" and "Monument" take distinct dub/reggae turns, while "Shouldn't Have Done That" delivers its slightly precious message about the dangers of adulthood with a spare arrangement and hollow, weirdly sweet vocals. Much of the album follows in a dark vein, forsaking earlier sprightliness, aside from tracks like "A Photograph of You" and "The Meaning of Love," for more melancholy reflections about love gone wrong as "Leave in Silence" and "My Secret Garden." More complex arrangements and juxtaposed sounds, such as the sparkle of breaking glass in "Leave in Silence," help give this underrated album even more of an intriguing, unexpected edge. Gore's lyrics sometimes veer on the facile, but David Gahan's singing comes more clearly to the fore throughout -- things aren't all there yet, but they were definitely starting to get close. ~ Ned Raggett
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Alternative & Indie - Released May 15, 2001 | Warner Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released October 6, 2017 | Columbia

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Pop - Released October 26, 2004 | Reprise - Mute

There was a time when you could walk into your average record store and find the singles section by spotting the big block of black rows. These rows signaled the whereabouts of the Ds and tended to eat up a disproportionate space of the singles section. In 2004, the Mute label condensed all of these releases into Remixes 81-04, which itself was ironically (or fittingly) presented in multiple versions. This particular version is a triple-disc set that attempts to function as a representative sampling of Depeche Mode's innumerable remixes. It does an admirable job, making a point to highlight glorified extended versions and radical reworkings alike. François Kevorkian, for instance, uses his invaluable understanding of the inner workings of both disco and dub to extend and sensitively tweak "Personal Jesus" for the dancefloor, transforming it into something that he would likely spin while DJing. Air, however, alter "Home" to the point where it sounds like one of their own moody, downcast productions -- Martin Gore plays guest instead of host. One of the most thrilling remixes shows no respect to the source material; Adrian Sherwood's decimation of "People Are People," from 1984, is a succession of jackhammering beats, agitated noise fragments, bizarre vocal interjections. In order to entice hardcore fans who already have the old remixes on the original single releases (or the six exhaustive box sets), a handful of new remixes were commissioned. Most of these appear in the latter half of the third disc, and at least half deserve to be in the company of the better-known reshapes. "Clean" is turned into a bristly acid gallop by Colder, and the new rhythm winds up coming close to mirroring "Personal Jesus." Rex the Dog reaches all the way back to "Photographic," providing layer upon layer of bursting synth. Ironically (or fittingly), Paul Morley -- who, as one of the tricksters behind the ZTT label (Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Propaganda), came up with the idea that you could never have a track remixed too many times -- pens the liner notes. ~ Andy Kellman