Depeche Mode – Heaven

Here is my review of the new Depeche Mode single Heaven. There is clearly now two Depeche Mode’s. The old New Wave band that gave us Black Celebration and Strangelove and the post Violator DM. All the molecules in a humans body change in about 10 years and Dave, Martin and Fletch are clearly not the same people they once were. When they first changed to the new DM it was hard to understand, disappointing and I don’t think anyone knew what they were going for. A few albums went by and here we are. What if I judge this new single as if it were not the old Depeche Mode? Wipe my memory of Shake the Disease for a minute and press play on Heaven. The new single sounds like a gospel rock song but with an analog drum machine, sharp eq’s and 60s style panning. I actually think it’s a good song. In fact I enjoy the slow folding pace of it and I think the lyrics are good. The lyrics can even speak to me personally. I can imagine myself on a sad rainy night walking slowly under city lights just escaping some sin. However there are three problems I have with this song. First, if I choose to listen to music I’m going to want a song about love, sex, pain or danger. The overall theme of this song Heaven and much new DM is well just too past the fight. I guess these guys all have kids and are looking for redemption or justification for some bad stuff they must have done along the star road. Next, Dave sings this song well and I love following his voice along each pitch except for one line which is repeated a few times, “I’m In Heaven” and later “Up to Heaven”. The main line which to the song builds to is somehow blundered and sounds weak. It really ruins the song from ever going to be on major repeat. The last problem is the band’s name is still Depeche Mode and all their old songs ARE still on repeat at my house. So I can’t forget the perfection that once was and the disappointment Heaven is. 6/10

The new Depeche Mode single is now available to listen to online: click here.

“I stand in golden rays radiantly. I burn a fire of love, over and over. It sets in endless light, relentlessly. I have embraced the flame forever and ever.” – Depeche Mode

For more info: heaven.depechemode.com

11 Comments

  1. Hmm, yeah, that was underwhelming wasn’t it? As much as it pains me to say it, Depeche Mode are clearly not the band they once were. And it’s a shame.

    Growing up in England during the 80s I had their posters on my bedroom wall, bought all the 12″ singles, went to the concerts. They were my favorite band of all time. And in many respects they still are. Well, the DM of the Alan Wilder golden years is my favorite band of all time I should say.

    The post SOFAD albums have been tough for long time fans. While Ultra and Playing The Angel had some highlights, Exciter and Sounds Of The Universe were very very disappointing.

    If you’re anything like me you keep giving them the benefit of the doubt based on the band that they used to be. And one disappointing album after another goes by and it’s somewhat sad to think that they’re probably never going to be _that_ band again.

    With the benefit gig and the In Chains remix, I was _so_ hoping that we’d see Alan back in the studio with those guys. But it wasn’t to be.

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  2. Yeah sad to say i agree. Just watched the official video, too and it’s no Enjoy the Silence, that’s for sure. just too self-important and U2/Bono-like. that’s not the Depeche that i grew up loving.

    Did you hear the b-side? it’s a little more interesting musically, but still didn’t blow me away.

    http://vimeo.com/58573338

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  3. I like that main line “I’m In Heaven”! And I was not disappointed at all. On Sounds of the Universe some songs were lacking DM sound I love, but now this sound is back and evolved in Heaven (I think).
    By the way, wouldn’t it be boring if they would make another Black Celebrations and Violators for 30 years?

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  4. i hear ya oliver, i pine for the old depeche. i was disappointed with this song as well as Angel, which is also easy to hear on youtube. but i still have hopes that other songs on the album or some b-sides coming up will be better. i did like sounds of the universe, and i did like playing the angel. however those albums cannot compare and have the lasting quality that the albums of the 80s did. but isnt this normal for every band thats been around for awhile? a band has a highpoint and then they get older. i am actually happy that dm still puts on a good live show although they are not the spunky young fun guys onstage they used to be. still….they don’t suck, and care about what they are doing, unlike most bands.

    but you know what, i kind of expected the new songs to sound and be like this after reading what the band said in the news articles i read online while they were in the studio. when they described the slower paced songs and mood etc. i kinda knew what was coming, and i was right.

    the thing is i have a difficult time as a depeche mode dj, who regularly brings depeche mode to crowds, with songs after violator. the reason why is because most of the songs stopped being danceable. i could play a song like home once in awhile on the dancefloor, and it gives the crowd a moment to mellow and take it in

    however if you are a dj and you need people to keep dancing, and you feature depeche mode all night, you wind up playing the older songs mainly, because those are more danceable……..and then you have complaints from newer and younger fans saying you play too much older music and not enough newer music from them…….ok so what am i going to play, after 1990, that hits a beat and keeps it going……maybe i feel loved and maybe john the revelator. after awhile i’m stuck, look at whats on their later albums and you will find they are very slow songs.

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  5. I find that a pity actually reading these comments and although I wouldnt\couldnt call myself a fan,considering everything which comes with being fan of something, that leaves me to enjoy what they release.Actually in the 80’s the only DM song I liked was “people are people” and besides that all they were to me was “just another pop band”.
    Since their releases in the mid 90’s however I was able to find myself in many of their lyrics up to sounds of the universe where the songs :chained,hole to feed and wrong could even go as a part of my “autobiography” as they are.
    These two songs here are appealing to me aswell,the b-side even more than the a side and that gets me back to where I’m glad I skipped them in the 80’s or else I might be just as you guys…no offense anyone…
    I know I’m probably gonna get massacred for saying this but in my opinion they have grown.I don’t mean that the old songs are bad but they do have something naive and “young” whereas today I find it goes deeper and than the dick does and what he held in his arms back then is too old\big today anyway…know what I mean?
    lol somehow I even have think of Nasenbluten’s Not As Good As…
    remember no offense here from me…
    Ok..now I’m ready to get slapped for my comment…but don’t get too carried away …lol

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    1. you won’t get slapped in the face, i think what you just said makes sense also.

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  6. Well, what can I say except this is the first DM single where I am truly disappointed, more so than “Dream On” if you can believe that. DM sound like a band on life support, one that no longer cares about danceable beats or melody. This is 70’s lite-rock-elevator-music-for-Adult-Contemporary-folks. I guess their magic and spark that made them famous is gone. They did have some occasional good tunes after Alan Wilder left but they seem to be getting worse the last couple albums. I wonder if Alan Wilder was still in the band would they still sound like this? We will never know. Oh well, back to the older albums I go…..

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  7. Yeah thats a pretty good review, I can agree with that. The U2/Bono comparison is there alright.

    To be honest I don;t expect much anymore, but I’m again disappointed with their choice of producer, they are so stuck on Hiller, and I hate what he’s done. Why not take a chance and try someone like Caribou or Burial or Four Tet, etc… just saying.

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  8. Depeche. Mode. FOREVER. Great track, lyrically too. Im stoked for all of Delta Machine. http://smarturl.it/itunesDM

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  9. After SOFAD all went to shit !!! DM entered into mediocrity. I don’t think it will be another VIOLATOR or Songs of Faith and Devotion. I want so bad to be wrong !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  10. you need to spend some more time LISTENING people.
    Delta Machine is their best album since SOFAD, which I consider to be their finest hour.
    We’re not in the 80s any more.
    They have matured, and grown and I’m glad to have them tattooed on my back and having been on the journey with them.
    Long Live DM – they are my religion.

    Reply

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