Roll forward seven little days and the electronic mega giants, Depeche Mode, will be headlining the main stage at the phenomenal Isle of Wight Festival, which will be celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.
The band released their 14th album last year, ‘Spirit’, 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 intentions as previous ones may have.
What is clear 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 previous 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.
Isle of Wight Festival
21st – 24th June
Isle of Wight, England
£209 + fees for the weekend
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