The album get's going with "Going Backwards" and here we have vintage Depeche Mode from the word go...it's a deeply despairing piano lead, slow burner of a track. The beat is simplistic and methodical yet in it's own way has a heaviness, a seriousness to it that carries the lyrical tone of the song perfectly. Ripe with social commentary, we find Gahan singing about a reversal of humanity; our standards, morals, empathy, love for our fellow man and duty of decency as human beings is failing, terribly, and we all need to take a long hard look in the mirror, it's a powerful song and a brilliant introduction. Lead single "Where's The Revolution" follows on immediately and again here we find the trio taking on a responsibility, voicing a clear political message to the people of the world to stand up and be counted, to encourage us to use our OWN voices, to not accept corruption and oppression...they are on top form here.
"You Move" again sacrifices general tempo and momentum for a more overall darker tone...the core electronic sound is a deep, pulsing sensation, it's got a certain dirtiness to it and really speaking this wouldn't sound out of place in some seedy, underground strip-joint...the chorus is very fitting. As the band have matured and aged though, they have generally slowed down for the most part generally..."The Worst Crime" is absolutely haunting, less a song but more, morose poetry; bleak but beautiful, while "Fail" again opts for the cold, sinister, synthetic depths of electronica, reminding me instantly of WILD BEASTS, but it's not entirely doom and gloom, as album highlight "So Much Love" is an absolute tune. It's energetic, hypnotic and utterly addictive; absolutely superb and overall validating this album as one of the bands best in years.
While it's true Depeche Mode are never going to release another "Violator", they still have enough juice left in the tank to time after time show the world why they are the best at what they do. Using their position to speak out to the masses, especially amidst the turbulence and tyrannical threats of the 21st century, they couldn't be any more relevant...there's plenty of fighting spirit left in these three, where's the revolution you ask? It's right here...