A few weeks ago, Sigur Ros previewed their new album on MySpace, and now Depeche Mode is following suit. Their new album, Playing the Angel, comes out October 18 here in the States. However, click here and you can hear the album in its entirety. There’s no jumping back and forth between the tracks, so if you’ve got a track you’re looking forward to, you’ll need to sit through the whole thing.
Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Considering how long they’ve been around, and how little they deviate from their “formula” — David Gahan’s rich vocals singing angst-ridden lyrics that veer from existential longing to failed relationships to sexual pleasures, dark synth programmings, plenty of atmosphere, etc. — the album still holds up remarkably well. Then again, I think Depeche Mode is one of those bands that have managed to figure out a sound that works incredibly well, and have devoted their entire career to thoroughly exploring and exploiting it, and have been pretty successful in doing so.
Of course, I’ll confess to having a soft spot in my heart for Gahan et al. Violator was the first “alternative” album I ever really listened to, even before The Cure came along, and I still remember the first time I heard “Policy of Truth” and “Enjoy the Silence” during my freshman year of high school. When compared to the rest of the stuff that was playing on Sweet 98 at the time, there was something about those songs that stood out and thoroughly intrigued me. Maybe it was Gahan’s accent, the dark atmospherics, the desperate tone of the lyrics, the cool synth sounds, or probably some combination of all three.
Whatever the case, I began listening to Depeche Mode and the rest, as they say, is history.