DEPECHE MODE

(UNITED KINGDOM)

MEMENTO MORI

(2023)
LABEL:

COLUMBIA

GENRE:

POP

TAGS:
80's, Electro, Melancholic
"A true inventory of Depeche Mode's immense career, "Memento Mori" is crossed by the memory of their founder and the morose context of the 2020s."
TONYB (28.03.2023)  
3/5
(0) opinions (0) comment(s)
"Memento Mori": what other title could Depeche Mode have come up with for their fifteenth album after the death in 2020 of the iconic Andy Fletcher, a founding member of the band over 40 years ago and involved in the writing of this new production?

Strongly marked by the pain, the years of pandemic and the current unpleasant context, this new realisation opens with an evocative 'My Cosmos is Mine' with a very dark outline, an ethereal atmosphere on which Dave Gahan comes to lay down snatches of repetitive phrases, as if to better underline the context.

After this somewhat singular start, the rest of the album sees Depeche Mode offering us a real musical mix of their career. Back to the 80s with 'My Favourite Stranger', 'Never Let me Go' or 'Wagging Tongue', whose keyboards take us back to the good old days of that period, a track that would have been a good fit on an OMD album. 
And in the same vein, how can we fail to notice the nod to Kraftwerk whose keyboards seem to have been literally sampled on 'People are Good'? 

Stylistically speaking, the 90's-2000's are also visited through less immediate tracks, 'Caroline's Monkey' being the perfect example of the stripped down arrangements and more baroque melodies that were prevalent on the albums released during this period, or through more classic songs that sound like good singles ('Ghosts Again' or 'Before we Drown', probably the most successful track).

This nice picture is however somewhat tarnished by a few more dispensable tracks, among which 'Don't Say you Love to Me' or 'Soul With Me' stretch their unspecified melodies and uninspired arrangements in a languid way.

"Memento Mori" closes in the same way as it began, with a somewhat disillusioned 'Speak to Me'. Final point or simple suspension? Only time will tell. In any case, this new production from Depeche Mode sounds like a convincing inventory of a remarkable career that started more than four decades ago, and which one wishes would never end.
- Official website
SIMILAR BANDS:
ULTRAVOX, OMD

TRACK LISTING:
01. My Cosmos Is Mine
02. Wagging Tongue
03. Ghosts Again
04. Don’t Say You Love Me
05. My Favourite Stranger
06. Soul With Me
07. Caroline's Monkey
08. Before We Drown
09. People Are Good
10. Always You
11. Never Let Me Go
12. Speak To Me

LINEUP:
Dave Gahan: Chant
Martin Gore: Guitares / Claviers / Choeurs
   
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