Friday, March 29, 2013

There's Only One Way To Soothe My Soul

Depeche Mode have released their 13th studio album, titled "Delta Machine."

I wanted to wait to hear the album on its release date. But in this day and age of technology, digital downloads are available before we can get our happy hands onto a cd. See, I'm an old fashion girl - I NEED to have the cd with all it's packaging, inserts, and even the stubborn plastic wrapping. So, while my intention was to wait, my desire to indulge was far too great and I listened to the album ahead of time. With the distractions of home, I was only able to really enjoy parts of the album, but couldn't really get a good grip on my overall feelings. It wasn't until I had that cd, was able to put it on in my car, turn up the volume, and get lost in the "machine" while I took my long drive to work and back home again. It's not left my car since.

Here's a quick (or not so quick), song by song review of "Delta Machine." Please keep in mind that these are my feelings only. I don't expect anyone to agree with me 101%. Music is subjective. We all have different moments in music that move us. These are just my personal, DM obsessive thoughts.
There was talk that this album was a mix of Violator and SOFAD. Yes, I hear those influences, but honestly, I hear their entire career/catalog in this album. From the heavy synth sounds, drum machine beats, experimental and industrial noises, the blues, the rock, and so on - it's all here.

Welcome To My World ~ The opener. The song that sets the tone for the whole album. No, opening song, don't feel any pressure, now. It's just your job to pull us in and make us stick around. When I first heard this song, I was unimpressed. I was also being talked to by an 8 year old which makes truly listening to a song nearly impossible. Now...well, this opening track, for me, is a sublime introduction to DM 2013. Gritty. Real. Deep. The vocals, harmonizing, music, and mood are just what I need to draw me in and keep me here.

Angel ~ Well, hello there dirty Dave. Pulsing beats, increasing speeds, Dave's sultry's just good. Damn good.

Heaven ~ The first single. I'll admit I was a bit ho-hum about this song on first listen. It's grown on me. I find it, well, somewhat heavenly, in it's simplicity, beauty, and harmony. It wouldn't have been my choice for the first single, but it's a strong track that will hold up well.

Secret To The End ~ I would like to say that this review has been brought to you by the letter S. There are so many strong tracks on this album that start with the letter S, and this is one of them. I'm in love with this song. I can't really explain why, other than that the music, lyrics, vocals, and feel just work for me. There is something uneven about it. But that uneveness makes it good.

My Little Universe ~ I was incredibly critical of this song the first handful of times I listened to it. Vocally and lyrically I loved it, but musically I found it plunky and repetitive. I take back my criticisms. While it's not my favorite song on the album, I have found an appreciation and fondness for it. My Little Universe and I are becoming fast friends.

Slow ~ Oh I love you so. Another of the strong S songs, this one is mmmm...Down and dirty, soulful and bluesy. Word has it that this was a SOFAD reject. I'm really glad it was, as I think Dave and Martin's harmonizing vocals fit this song so much better now than they would have then. And being sexier than ever, Dave can sing this song to me anytime he'd like to. That's how I like it.

Broken ~ I adore this song with every ounce of my being. Songs that move me so are always harder for me to write about. It's hard to put certain feelings into words. There is just something special about this one. Trust me.

The Child Inside ~ I was always taught that if you can't say anything nice, then don't say anything at all. Next.
(Really, it's not horrible, but I'm not a fan. This is the only really low point of the album for me.)

Soft Touch/Raw Nerve ~ Another in the S group. This song makes me happy. It makes me want to move. It brings back the vibe of the album after the somewhat dreary Child. I love how it ends, then comes back with a quick blip of musical goodness. It's a favorite.

Should Be Higher ~ This is probably my favorite song on the album. I love so many of these songs, but there is something about this one, that again, is  hard to describe. I love, love, love Dave's vocals - the low notes and the high. I want to listen to this on repeat and just lose myself in it. And don't forget, it is brought you you by the letter S.

Alone ~ This is one of the songs that I hadn't had a chance to *really* listen to before having the cd. I didn't give it a whole lot of thought, honestly. I find it beautiful. Amazingly beautiful. This could take over as my favorite song on the album. This is another I'm finding hard to describe. The music and production, vocals and lyrics take me away to another place.

Soothe My Soul ~ They say there's only one way to soothe my soul. Music soothes my soul. Sure other things do too, but music, especially Depeche Mode's music, soothes my soul. While this is not my favorite of the S songs, it's still a strong track that continues the feel of the album and helps tie it all together.

Goodbye ~ A fitting way to end an album, with a song called Goodbye. Another strong track, for sure, but not a favorite. It's good. It's got a great blues and soulful feel. I can't find anything really wrong with it. It just doesn't hit me in soul like the many of the others. But, really, no major complaints here.

So, that is it. My not so short review of "Delta Machine" has come to an end. Agree, disagree, or agree to disagree - just take a moment to listen to this album. I personally feel DM have hit the mark with this gem. It is definitely their best release since Ultra. Sure Exciter, Playing the Angel, and Sound of the Universe have their strong points and weak points, but Delta Machine brings together the best of all DM worlds in one convenient location.
Oh, and yes, I have heard the bonus tracks, but I wanted this review to focus on the main tracks alone.

Thank you for reading from Rdwnggrl's World!

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