Depeche Mode proves it is always in fashion upon the release of its 13th studio album, “Delta Machine.” The electro-pop pioneers continue to show their listeners that they are still evolving at this stage in their career but haven’t lost their signature edge. Lead vocalist Dave Gahan’s voice breaks through light synth drum patterns on the first track, “Welcome To My World,” foreshadowing the raw, eerie essence of the rest of the album.
The album’s lead single, “Heaven,” was leaked in late January, receiving mixed reviews among fans because of its peaceful and more tender nature that strays from most of what Depeche Mode has ever done. The track shows a sense of experimentalism, which adds to their wide repertoire of sounds and skills. The trio added guitar hooks to its usual synthesizer-doused accompaniments to create a bluesy sound that is most distinguishable in the songs “Angel” and “Goodbye.” The album title itself is a reference to the Delta blues genre, one of Depeche Mode’s greater influences, which originated in the Mississippi Delta region in the early 20th century.
A late rush of energy, “Soothe My Soul” gives the end of the album a pick-me-up that might remind fans of the band’s “Personal Jesus” era. However, this track seemed a bit exhausted after the 24th time Gahan tells us that there is only one way to soothe his soul. “Delta Machine” encompasses all elements of style that Depeche Mode has experimented with over its 33-year-long existence. As veterans of the electronic genre, it continues to please listeners with old sounds and surprise them with new ones. 3 out of 4 stars