Depeche Mode – On Tour

The electronic mega giants released their 14th album last month and are due to begin their global tour in May, starting in Stockholm. They are already banking strong credentials on the Billboard Charts as they entered in at No. 1 on the Top Rock Albums and Alternative Albums Charts. A firm testament that this album is full-on.

And, it’s a charged diversion from their usual meaningful language of inner struggle with love, lust, pain and devotion. Until now, they have used the lexicon of the tortured human condition and its quest for satisfaction and spiritual redemption as a currency for over 30 years.

However, this new album expresses the band’s fed-up attitude with all matters worldly. The first single, ‘Where’s The Revolution?’ encapsulates their message and the primary tone of the album aptly. Depeche Mode are no longer content to just languish in the self-indulgent concerns of the flesh and heart but to turn their focus outwards. Frontman Dave Gahan literally beckons for us to revolt and rally against the current disappointing state of things in the song’s title. The album predominantly takes a dark, topical and red raw look at the wholly unpleasant mood of current affairs. So, if you are wanting to luxuriate in the blissful perfection of sin and sacrifice, this album will not enable those desires as previous ones may have.

What is clear and true to form is that Depeche Mode have managed to maintain their edgy, nearly cult-like underground status and delivery that has been the undercurrent throughout the years despite their shift in contextual output. The majority of the album speaks to the simple, electronic sounds of albums long gone by and leaves the ethereal, heady atmosphere of more recent songs like In Your Room’ from Songs of Faith and Devotion and ‘Heaven’ from Delta Machine tucked neatly in the past.

Either way, the message remains the same, Depeche Mode’s status as a behemoth of sage electronica is unwavering.

Depeche Mode: Stripped back, amped up and angry..[they] sound alive and rigidly opposed to merely going through the motions.” –The Guardian

Depeche Mode’s most pointedly topical album…These songs make you feel like singing in response to today’s headlines.” –Pitchfork

A politicised return, unafraid to look afresh at the band’s sound and approach…Depeche Mode have judged this just right.” –Clash Music

Watch ‘Where’s The Revolution?’ video here:


Billboard Magazine