Tuesday, February 28th, 2017

Depeche Mode – Where’s the Revolution

More like MEHvolution amirite…


Thomas Inskeep: Not here. 

Alfred Soto: “Where’s the revolution/C’mon, people, you’re lettin’ me down” made sense in July 2016 when I realized the Dems had nominated Hillary Rodham Clinton and dispassion was the craze. In February 2017 I aim the lines at Depeche Mode Inc, reprocessing their idea of R&B referents from 1993’s Songs of Faith and Devotion and more distortion this side of an AM frequency. I prefer Dave Gahan to lecture me on pleasures, little treasures, masters and servants, and the policy of truth; otherwise he sounds like a wino in a Starbucks line.

Will Adams: The grinding electronics and gangly meter feel like classic Depeche, but the lyrics are stuffy. It’s not as if this kind of shallowly political song hasn’t existed for a while — Muse’s “Uprising” immediately sprang to my mind for its similar inability to provoke, and the invocation of an unnamed “they” is everywhere — but it’s easy to diagnose as another entry in a recent trend of vague protest music that thinks it’s adequate to simply raise questions and shrug its shoulders.

Katherine St Asaph: Morose death-bloops, snide vocals, enough fascist imagery in the video to appeal to the punchables: a Depeche Mode song. Two out of three of these are reliably good things. The Bush-era message (of all the things that got us here, religion isn’t one) and botched 6/8 (note the second “where’s the revolution”) are not.

David Sheffieck: The lyric’s pointed but open to interpretation – is it earnest or sarcastic, angry or detached? Does it say anything at all? But the music speaks apocalypse as only Depeche Mode can: grinding and flickering, punishingly throbbing, it’s distinctly their own and instantly recognizable, and somehow still more immediate and vital than artists half their age.

Jessica Doyle: I was happy to sit and let those woozy vocals wash over me until I realized they were in the service of lazy lecturing. One point, though, for that “train is comin'” bit’s sluggish echo of Dal*Shabet’s dorawa dorawa dorawa, and one more because I’m pretty sure Dave Gahan is cosplaying Oswald Mosley in the video.

Claire Biddles: I’m too predisposed to Depeche Mode’s default sonics to fully dislike this but man, it’s a trying listen — the whole thing drags, and its on-the-nose lyrics are clunky enough to make me wince. Depeche Mode are better and more nuanced when they’re reflecting on the internal rather than the external: The wake-up-sheeple tone of “Where’s the Revolution” reminds me of when Muse ~do politics~; preaching a generic call-to-arms to the converted. 

Maxwell Cavaseno: Contrary to popular belief, I don’t think Martin Gore had a lot of great many subversive lyrics in him. There was certainly a wink-wink/nudge-nudge obsession with darker themes, not to mention his occasional political tipping of the hat, but if anything the Depeche Mode discography is pretty much run-of-the-mill in ideas for fake deep songwriting all throughout pop if you’re into leather jackets. Production-wise, Depeche Mode continue as they do, with lame guitars thrown in for no reason, Gahan sounding maudlin, and a lot of decent electronic blips that would’ve complimented a record under the “Electronica” category back in ’02. But lyrically Gore proves that honestly, he shouldn’t try to speak on the world, because he’s never had anything of real insight to say there.

Ramzi Awn: “Where’s the Revolution” fails to offend and succeeds at staying its course. Boasting a perfectly serviceable melody that Grace Slick could have done better, Depeche Mode dapples this near-hit with sparks of life. 

Lilly Gray: Really gonna light a fire under your quiet cousin.

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2 Responses to “Depeche Mode – Where’s the Revolution”

  1. s/Bush-era/Reagan-era, although I guess it could also be the other Bush era

  2. I kept trying to make some tie-in joke with the “A TRAIN IS COMING” part but it didn’t work out