Depeche Mode – Memento Mori (Album Review)

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Depeche Mode – Memento Mori (Album Review)

In a modern world where life moves at an accelerated pace, perhaps some have finally realized that all this is beyond human capacity. Smart technologies, meaningless worlds of social media, and constant scrolling between screens for disposable information… what does it all mean? It is important to remember something that works with sensory overload and actively contributes to our own demise – Memento mori.

An age-old saying that can be forgotten for the modern citizen, please take a moment to silence all distractions and remember, yes, we will all die someday. Although it may seem sickly, this proverb, which is realistic in every sense of the word, actually has a positive side; never take life lightly, remain humble, and always appreciate what you have. British Synthpop icons are quite philosophical at a time in human history when Depeche Mode seems to be absent, so it makes sense that they named their latest album. Souvenir Mori.

Founded 43 long years ago, Depeche Mode wasn’t just born in the ’80s, it defined the decade in many ways. Perhaps the most popular group in the Synthwave/Electronic music movement, they’ve probably also perfected the sound better than the others. They would release one classical album after another, topping the charts, selling millions and creating some of the most memorable hit singles of the time.

Considering all this, oddly enough it took until 2020 for Depeche Mode to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. A well-deserved victory on the positives also came with the negatives, and it hit Depeche Mode hard when co-founder Andy Fletcher passed away suddenly in May 2022. So where does the band go from here after losing their bandmate and old friend? Well, they carry on with heavy hearts in their hands, and that’s where their latest album comes in.

Released through Columbia on March 24, 2023, it was their third album in the past decade and their fifteenth overall. A slightly different period musically in Depeche Mode history, the band’s latest effort seems to take them a little further into the past. In retrospect, albums from the last fifteen years – from 2009’s Sounds of the Universe to the 2017s spirits – it was diverse. Regardless, without detracting from these albums, each of them has something to offer, Souvenir Mori it actually feels different.

Is it the production, the warm synth sounds used, or the general artistic approach? The answer could be all of the above and for some reason it feels right. forks, Souvenir Mori it has some somber lyrical content, but for some reason the tones sound richer and brighter than anything they’ve done lately. In fact, the atmosphere can be compared to classics like the 1986’s. black celebration.

Revealing from the start with the dreamy “My Cosmos Is Mine”, the captivating “Wagging Tongue” and the highly catchy Richard Butler (Psychedelic Furs) co-written single “Ghosts Again”, the album ignites like a burning house. Then there are other enjoyable episodes like “My Favorite Stranger”, “Caroline’s Monkey” and “Before We Drown”. All dripping with Depeche Mode signature synth styles, plus more negative points as heard in “Don’t Say You Love Me” and the more sinister feel of the closer “Speak to Me”.

A total of twelve songs are a well-polished mix of other songs with subtleties, twists and turns but most importantly thoughtful lyrics among the selections discussed. At this point, Dave Gahan and Martin L. Gore have lived a good life. Experienced, they are smart enough to know that the time we have is only then.

Although we are ephemeral, fortunately we still have the creative talents of artists like Depeche Mode. Sustaining longevity and writing some of the best songs ever, although we are all dust in the wind, Depeche Mode’s music will live on forever. With these considerations in mind, and featuring exciting new song collections, Cryptic Rock is part of Depeche Mode. Souvenir Mori 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Depeche Mode – Memento Mori / Columbia Records (2023)

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