Depeche Mode has just released a new single, their first music in four years, so obviously, fans all over the world are avidly listening right now. The song is called ‘Where’s The Revolution’ and it is the first track they are sharing from their upcoming album, ‘Spirit’
Depeche Mode exists since the 80’s, they have released 13 albums, they are an institution, especially since their 1990 album ‘Violator’, which made them international stars. I have vivid memories of their sexy video at the Mexican border for ‘Personal Jesus’!
Twenty-six years later, the sound for this song is far less sexy, much more dragging, and when I say dragging, it is for 5 minutes. Sure, it is the Depeche Mode sound, dark and synth-textured, no doubt about it, you wouldn’t be able to think about anything else but Depeche Mode when you hear Dave Gahan’s very recognizable dark howl, but for a revolution, it sounds a bit tired and defeatist. The chorus (‘Where’s the revolution/Come on, people/You’re letting me down’) is catchy enough and sounds like vintage DM, although may be a bit too vintage and not aggressive enough? I don’t expect a band to be revolutionary after 36 years of existence, but they are singing about it, so may be this is the problem. They rightly get political – but who wouldn’t during these very political times? – and they are talking about a revolution using cliché-like words, ‘the train is coming/so get on board’… and it is very tempting to think that this is exactly what they are doing: jumping on the train/bandwagon while preaching or lamenting about the decay of our democracy? I am not sure I feel too inspired to riot after listening to this song, and I am not sure they were too inspired either.
But despite all this, this is another band talking about politics and pissing off all the people who ridiculously think that artists should always stay out of politics! So Depeche Mode gets some good points for this, but there’s still one curious aspect of the story: As it is the case for many bands, they drain a crowd from all political horizons and reading the YouTube comments can be a trip into the twilight zone sometimes. How can some people think they are talking about a Trump revolution? How can these idiots flip-flop the revolution at their advantage? It’s not because they aren’t screaming ‘Fuck Trump’ that it isn’t clearly a song worrying about the state of the current free world. Insanity is really reigning in the USA!
Gahan has been really clear about the meaning of the song, in a recent interview with Rolling Stone: ‘We’re living in a time of real change. As I get older, the things going on in the world affect me more. I think about my kids and what they’re growing up into. My daughter, Rosie, was deeply affected by the election last year. … She just sobbed, and I was like, ‘Wow’’… ‘Martin [Gore] and I both live in America, so we’re both very affected by what goes on,” he says. “Martin said to me, ‘I know to some people, this will come off as rich rock stars living in their big houses in Santa Barbara with not a care in the world, and it’s true that we’re very fortunate. But that doesn’t mean you stop caring about what’s going on in the world. It’s really affecting me.’ And I said, ‘I understand. I feel the same.’’
Get it? They don’t like Trump at all and this alt-right resurgence.
‘Spirit’, which is Depeche Mode’s first collaboration with producer James Ford of Simian Mobile Disco (Foals, Florence & The Machine, Arctic Monkeys), is available for preorder, and will be released digitally and physically worldwide on March 17th on Columbia Records. A 2-CD Deluxe version of the album, featuring a special 28-page booklet of exclusive artwork and photos, along with 5 remixes created by Depeche Mode, Matrixxman and Kurt Uenala, collectively entitled the ‘Jungle Spirit Mixes’, will also be available.
Spirit Tracklist (STANDARD & DELUXE):
Where’s The Revolution
The Worst Crime
So Much Love
No More (This Is The Last Time)
DISC 2 – Jungle Spirit Mixes (DELUXE ONLY)
Cover Me (Alt Out)
Scum (Frenetic Mix)
Poison Heart (Tripped Mix)
Fail (Cinematic Cut)
So Much Love (Machine Mix)
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