We haven’t talked about new music in a while and there are a lot of great new albums that have dropped recently. But two albums in particular caught my attention because they are from two 80s bands that you might have thought were long gone: Depeche Mode and Orchestral Manoevers in the Dark (“OMD” Surprise, it’s not an abbreviation for anything you would text to anyone). Both released new albums in the last couple months to mostly positive reviews. The first, Depeche Mode’s Delta Machine, is maybe the biggest surprise.
I always liked the Violator era Depeche Mode the best, like “Enjoy the Silence” above, or maybe the Black Celebration songs. As for OMD, by far their most successful album in the 80s was Crush, which had a lot of great singles on it, including this one:
Or this one, which was always a sentimental favorite of mine:
It takes you back, doesn’t it?
The new version of Depeche Mode is somewhat changed from their heyday:
I remember these guys pretty much standing behind their synthesizers and not doing much else until Martin Gore maybe played the keyboard for a song or two. But they are much different on this album and they have a much more bluesy sound, without lapsing into the deep depression that characterized some of their more self-indulgent tracks back in the day.
OMD is a little different story. They never reached the stratospheric success of Depeche Mode, but for a band that was somewhat following in Depeche Mode’s well-worn tracks, they had a burst of popularity in the 80s that few bands equalled.
The conclusion you quickly reach when you hear their new album, English Electric, is that they sound very much like they did before. And you know what? That’s not a bad thing.