Tuesday, April 14th, 2009

Depeche Mode – Wrong

Wouldn’t expect The Saturdays to be covering this…


Frank Kogan: The ‘Peche take their angsty, super-dramatic melancholy and exaggerate it even further to the point of caricature, and they don’t just try to rock the beat, they slug and pummel it. The result is visceral and jarring.

Briony Edwards: This song is the definition of sick and awesome all mixed up together and producing brilliance. Really dark, totally cool lyrics, simple yet intelligently crafted. Sounds like the sort of thing you’d want to listen to as you prepared yourself to commit the sort of crime likely documented in a psychological thriller.

Rodney J. Greene: Simultaneously jarring and slight, this brings to mind a modem on Prozac.

Edward Okulicz: The urgent “WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!” that functions as the chorus is clearly an attempt to create another “reach out, touch faith!” moment but it comes across as a bit pathetic… I mean, what kind of chorus is that? One word repeated a few times, even if it is in David Gahan’s Serious Register, is lazy at best and downright hilarious at worst. The verses are a little better: that is, they’re “I Feel You” redux and have a passable menace about them, but the whole thing falls apart when it gets to “WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!”, and it’s hard to listen without laughing.

Tom Ewing: The irony of a song in which Dave Gahan lists all the things he’s been wrong about? His vocal trajectory has long been away from the querulous self-doubt that made early, flimsy Depeche Hits so vulnerable and appealing. Instead he sounds more gruffly certain with every year: there’s too much lectern-thumping in “Wrong”, too much battering the listener, which makes it hard to sympathise.

David Raposa: Between the multi-tracked Gahans intoning “WRONG” with a “reach out and touch” po-faced sincerity, and the rhyming dictionary calisthenics in the verses (which really didn’t need to be revisited at the end), and the same-old new-wave moves in the actual music … I mean, I know this is Depeche Mode in 2009, so shame on me for expecting otherwise, but they could at least sound like they’re not angling for a Cleopatra Records contract. Hell, aiming for the Adrian-Belew-in-Zubas vibe of the cover art would’ve been a step up.

Iain Mew: The ‘in a dark, dark house…’ style lyrics render “Wrong” very, very silly in a way that goes well beyond the average Depeche Mode level. Fair play to them for running with that so successfully though, not least in the repeated fuzzed-up intoning of the song’s title as a judgement proclaimed from above (or below).

Ian Mathers: As the moderately stunning video makes clear, “Wrong” functions best with some sort of accompaniment (in which context it can be fiercely effective). It does build up a nice head of steam by the middle of the song, but given how unexpectedly awesome “Precious” was, this qualifies as a disappointing lead single, even at this point in their career. It’s nice to see the old hands can get stompy, I guess, and the sounds here are gorgeous, but it needs either more going on structurally or better lyrics to really succeed on its own.

Additional Scores

Andrew Brennan: [4]
Martin Kavka: [2]
Alex Macpherson: [3]
Doug Robertson: [8]
Martin Skidmore: [5]

10 Responses to “Depeche Mode – Wrong”

  1. Really surprised at the low scores — I thought my (purely hypothetical) “6-ish” seemed a little harsh!

  2. The one point I gave it was for the mildly diverting 8-bit noises in the last chorus. Apart from that this is.. well, it’s just dire in every way and I am absolutely befuddled that anyone could have given it more than a 5! And I am generally very pro-DM, in fact, I’d give both songs this resembles, “I Feel You” and “Useless” probably 7 and 9 respectively.

  3. I think it’s a weird/terrible choice for a single, but to e.g. think of “WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!” as a “chorus” doesn’t really get at what the song seems to be doing, which is a lot of mood and a lot of ideas (some good and some not so good) rubbing against each other in a harsh and…um, dire way. Which is I guess to say that to me it sounds like it’s supposed to sound dire (not in the “this is dreck” sense) and ugly, and accomplishes this quite well. Why they’d think it’s actually a single is another question…

  4. But then again, I suppose this isn’t called the Interesting Idea You Had There Jukebox.

  5. I am so surprised by the low scores! It’s just a bit of fun, obviously, but it’s good fun none the less.

  6. I just find the picture somewhat offputting, to be honest, if only because I clearly missed the memo about Alan Bennett joining Depeche Mode…

  7. “Fun” is just about the last word I’d use to describe this.

  8. I didn’t even get to this song on the album before having to turn it off. What i heard was the opposite of “fun” – dreary, plodding songs too wrapped in their own self-importance to allow me to feel much of anything else. Almost as bad as Doves.

  9. And I’m pretty sure I heard the word “beseech” in one of the first two songs.

  10. At least the Doves song is pretty.