“Heaven”- Depeche Mode

Depeche_Mode_-_Heaven

 Release Year: 2012

Rating: 9/10

Our favorite moody band is back and better than ever. They have given us a taste of their upcoming album Delta Machine, due in March and I know I want more. This song is classic Depeche Mode. The song manages to sound new, while keeping their classic sound. It’s catchy, yet heartbreaking and the vocals have to be the most attractive thing about the single. The guys may have aged, but with this song they show they are ready to take on music yet again.

The song opens with a drumbeat that sounds like it’s coming from a Casio keyboard. I suppose that description sounds bad, but the beat is really interesting. It’s basically the synth for the song. Then this sad, depressing keyboard playing comes in and it somehow manages to hit you where it hurts. It also sets the tragic tone of the song, which is what the band does best. The guitar riff also comes in and even though it’s pretty subtle, it still sounds great. It also has this dirty Blues feel to it, that’s explored more during the vocals.

I think Gahan’s vocals are my favorite part of this song. He’s always had this really interesting voice, but somehow it sounds even better here. Maybe his voice has improved with age. Either way, he sounds just as good as he did years ago. What makes the vocals stand out is how tragic he sounds while singing lines like “Take comfort in my skin, endlessly.” It sounds like he’s spilling out his guts. He also uses repetition at times that makes the song stick in your head in the best way. Also, there’s harmony with Martin Gore and it sounds amazing as always. I always thought Gore’s high voice was a good dynamic for Gahan’s baritone vocals. It’s great to see that they still sing together after all these years.

Another thing about the song and the vocals is that they have a Blues feel to them. I already mentioned how the guitar riff has a Blues flavor, but something about the overall feel of the song makes it fit with the genre. The way Gahan stretches out some of the lyrics and just how tragic he sounds, adds to the Blues feel as well. Because of the moodiness of the track, it sounds like something that could come from Sounds of the Universe or Songs of Faith and Devotion. What’s great about the Blues sound is that it never takes over the song to make it sound odd.

I think this song is so satisfying for Depeche Mode fans because while so many artists are now moving towards this electronic trend that includes dub-step, the band have kept their sound. They’re just trying to be themselves and not following trends. But at least the track doesn’t sound like they’re trying to replicate their best work. Also, it’s amazing that they still sound so good after not making music for 5 years. Honestly, I think they waited the right amount of time to make music again. Sometimes, bands like No Doubt, go away and come back after 10 years or so and when they finally release an album, it’s not as good. It’s like they lost something that made them unique and luckily that has not happened with this band.

Overall, the song gets 9/10. It’s a great comeback for the band that’s sure to get their fans excited for their upcoming album. The song still retains their classic sound, yet it doesn’t sound like they’re trying to recapture their greatest material. It’s tragic and heartbreaking with Gahan’s vocals capturing each emotion perfectly. It’s not as catchy as some of their past work, but it’ll get stuck in your head some way. One thing I know is that I’m really excited for their new album.

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