Where’s the Revolution?
Depeche Mode go back to their roots for the band’s fourteenth studio album, Spirit. When Dave Gahan, Martin Gore and Andy Fletcher regrouped for this album, they discovered they had similar feelings about the state of the world. In an interview for Rolling Stone, Gahan said the LP got its name from the lack of spirit in humanity. Over the last three decades, Depeche Mode have had their fair share of drama and the creative process for Spirit had its own fair share as well. Luckily, producer James Ford (Florence and the Machine, Arctic Monkeys, Simian Mobile Disco) was able to settle their differences and get the band back on track for one of their best albums in years.
Spirit begins with “Going Backwards” 30 years to the group’s formative years: the ‘80s. The pop beats are nostalgic but the lyrics whip us back to the present, claiming society has reverted to a “caveman mentality.” The leading single, “Where’s the Revolution,” follows, shining as a modern alt-pop song that schools listeners on political corruption and asks, “who’s making your decisions? You or your religion?”
“You Move” is a welcome respite from politics with a sound that parallels that of Muse, and the band looks to the stars in honor of the late David Bowie for “Cover Me.” The album’s best moments appear on the alternative ballad “Poison Heart.” The group make blues the backbone of the track, adding their own spin with spots of wailing electric guitar over Gahan’s theatrical melody. They circle back to their earlier days on “So Much Love,” an electronic synth pop number meant to signify that mankind is inherently good and full of love.
Depeche Mode expel their bottled-up disappointment in a pleading call to action to implement change in society. Spirit is a movement through the stages of grief, the group’s way of coping and understanding the world, all while sparking their own revolution.