Delta Machine - Depeche Mode
User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 92 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 79 out of 92
  2. Negative: 6 out of 92

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  1. Mar 30, 2013
    9
    They know what to do and they're doing it well! Despite DM being in their early fifties, DELTA MACHINE is a fresh, modern, mode-y album with 6-7 classics. Dave has produced his best triad of songs so far.
  2. Mar 30, 2013
    9
    it's their best album in 15 years without a doubt. the sound it's just amazing. this mix of blues, synth-pop and dark ballads mix very well. Dave gaham voice really amaze because he really push himself
  3. Apr 6, 2013
    10
    EXCELLENT. As a fan since 1987, I had become rather unimpressed with DM from "Exciter" onwards. The three albums which precede Delta Machine had some interesting moments, but were very inconsistent and rather "by the numbers" Depeche Mode. Delta Machine puts all that to rights.

    It's a record which pushes the boundaries of the band in the way that "Violater" and "Faith & Devotion"
    did. It doesn't really sound like those records, but the willingness to take chances and genuinely experiment is what makes it comparable. Stand outs for me include "Welcome", "Alone", "Soft Touch" and perhaps surprisingly the Dave Gahan penned "Higher" and "Broken" despite its rather mediocre lyrics.

    A definite classic album which I have no doubt will be widely acknowledged as such in the years to come.
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  4. Apr 1, 2013
    9
    This album definitely is their best work since Ultra, such a profound mix of sounds and textures. What an enjoyable album this has been listening to! Highly recommended
  5. Mar 30, 2013
    9
    Delta Machine is the best album since Song Of Faith And Devotion or maybe Ultra. Songs like Secret To The End, My Little Universe, The Child Inside and Should Be Higher are great. I love it.
  6. Apr 2, 2013
    10
    I think it is extremely unfair to give this album a 5, 6 or even a 7. Only because it is Depeche Mode. Ok, this is not Violator, not Music for the Masses, not Songs of Faith. But it is a great album, plenty of ideas. Welcome to my World is one of the best DM openings in recent times. Alone is an instant clasic. Secret to the End is amazing. Soothe my Soul may sound silly at first listen, but it is very funny, less epic than the rest of the album. So far I think is album is being obviously underated. This is the best album of the Post-Wilder, since Ultra. It is a twisted, dark and breathtaking masterpiece. Welcome to our World, Depeche Mode. Expand
  7. Apr 4, 2013
    9
    The latest Depeche Mode album is a true winner. Filthy guitars, distorted beats and great synth soundscapes. The average tempo seems quite fast and there is energy in Dave Gahan's vocal performances. In short, this album has balls, something that maybe the last few didn't have. DM are back to form. The programming by Christoffer Berg is mature and classy and at times matches the work on Violator or Bjork's Homogenic. The combination of classic synths with modern production methods (heavy compression, distortion, bit crushing etc.) make it contemporary sounding and some of the pulsating basslines and cinematic pads remind of Daft Punk's Tron Legacy soundtrack. This is all good!
    Now for some criticism: it is an excellent album, but it is not great and this for one simple reason: like all albums these days, and recent Depeche efforts aren't exempt, it is simply too long with too many tracks. I don't care about commercial pressures and the perceived value for money that today's markets may want (do they?). 13 songs and just shy of one hour in length is too much for any album that is meant to be listened to from start to finish. I know, nobody does this anymore, and it is a shame. There are definitely 2 or 3 songs on this album, roughly in the middle, which are weak and anyone with some sense would have excised them and relegated them to B sides or, indeed, the second CD of the 'Deluxe' package which, as it is, only has 4 extra songs. That's a perfect way of creating the perfect album and still giving fans good value for money. This opportunity was missed here. Looking back to Violator, for example: 9 songs, 40 minutes, perfect. 13 songs, 59 minutes and you start to struggle, especially 30 minutes in when you should be getting the last couple of hurrahs but instead are treated to plodding nothing filler songs. Shame.
    On the plus side, the album has integrity, a unity of sound and a concept. Delta Machine Delta blues with (drum) machines and while this is not apparent on every track, it certainly pops up on at least 5 songs dotted across the collection which are enough to make the point clear and keep the album together.
    The thing I like the most about the sound of this album is that it is (on the better tracks) dynamic. Yes, it is heavily peak limited in the choruses and yes, there is an (un)healthy amount of distortion deployed across the many textures of the album which seems to be their wont these days, but still the verses manages to sound spacious and sparse, leaving room for the Gahan's excellent vocals (some of his best) upfront, in your face, sexy, as well as some quality synth sounds meandering behind him before the choruses kick in. All this is underpinned by heavy rolling arpeggiated basses. Conversely, the least successful songs are, for me, funny enough, the ones that are nuked flatlined with no dynamic range. I had found some songs difficult to listen to on the first few listens and, upon inspection of the waveforms on the computer, it all made sense. This is a shame as these songs jar with the overall vibe of the album described above, with the sparse dynamic sound. Consequently, these are the songs I would remove from this collection.
    So what does this all amount to for someone considering checking out the album? I am a Depeche Mode fan and it could be said that they can do nothing wrong in my eyes. This is probably partially true, but I would like to think I am more balanced in my opinions these days. Depeche Mode's work can roughly be divided into 3 phases: Speak and Spell (1981) and the Vince Clarke years, the 80s and sampling experimentations with Alan Wilder at the helm (pre-Violator), and then the Violator (1990) and post-Violator era. I like all of those for different reasons. This latest album is very clearly a post-Violator type album and will disappoint fans of the earlier 2 eras, no doubt.
    Taken for what it is though, it is one of the most successful ones and certainly the most energetic one in about 15 years. I always found Songs of Faith and Devotion (1993), Alan Wilder's swan song, spectacular and the first half of Ultra (1997) was outstanding. Playing the Angel (2005) was a strong effort but Exciter (2001) and Sounds Of The Universe (2009) were weak (albeit with some great moments). Delta Machine is right up there and, if it were shorter, would probably be their best work since Violator, full stop. The first 7 tracks are just an amazing body of work and rival Ultra for the strongest half album.
    Where does that leave non-fans? Well, they probably don't care and won't bother investigating it to be fair and that's fine. Kids are busy with Justin Timberlake and Bastille or whatever, and a new generation wanting dark synth-pop will probably turn to Hurts instead. But people who are interested in electronica, who like Daft Punk and Deadmau5 would probably this album very interesting. And the industrial brigade who like DeVision and the like will also find plenty to relish here.
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  8. Oct 11, 2013
    9
    Depeche Mode's Delta Machine is one you should not miss. It presents huge questions for the future. Is this the last album of their career, culminating with everything that came before? Or is this the first album of a new style, with hints of what was before and sounds of what is to come? Whatever the reason, this is Depeche Mode's best, perhaps ever. At least one major publication declares it DM's best. And it may well be.

    For Depeche Mode fans, the album may sustain the past with the recognizable vocals and strong beats from the 1980s. For those seeking something new and different, this album delivers.

    Although some songs are so strongly reminiscent of old Depeche Mode at the outset, like "Secret to the End," syncopated beats and contratemps begin to fill the aural tapestry to the point that something different emerges.

    "Goodbye" shoots out blues, merging with ballad into electronic mastery. This may be the best song out of a strong mixture worthy of careful review.

    "Long Time Lie" is another delicious sonic ride, reminding us that DM may be best as they move slowly through sonics, making the musical fabric move in waves with few tricks necessary.

    Listen and enjoy.
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  9. Apr 23, 2013
    9
    After a couple of listens, I have really begun to get into this album. I love the dark and smoldering feel that this has a whole. The songwriting is strong and the band still sounds amazing. By far my favorite track is Heaven, with Soothe My Soul a very close second.
  10. Jun 4, 2013
    10
    I think there's enough words to describe Delta Machine............................ it's simply the best work of depeche mode ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  11. Apr 9, 2013
    10
    In todays electronic music genre, the sounds used naturally evolve to a more electronic sound with more synthesized and over produced vocals. With this release, DM basically puts up a middle finger to the electronic sound they helped create by dumbing things down to a simpler, rawer sound that makes them as fresh today as they were 20 plus years ago. Thats simply not supposed to happen on a bands 13th release. A nice mix of somewhere between Violator and SOFD with hints of Music for the Masses. This album is DM in all the glory and has plenty to appease the diehards by anchoring us to the DM roots as well as introducing new fans to DM. This is definitely one of DM's top 5's. Like most DM releases, they take a few listens to grow on you... this one grows quick! Expand
  12. Jul 25, 2013
    10
    This album has totally blown me away, I used to be Depeche Mode fan, but now I think I am devoted!
    With our modern music I became apathetic towards it, I can see the light now, there is hope in musical industry at last!
    I particularly enjoyed "should be higher", "welcome to my world", "angel", "long time lime", "child inside". What a piece of art they've created. You wouldn't think after
    so many years, their past turbulence, the break up, and now you suddenly seeing 'the return of the king', yeah boys well done! Solid 10+ Expand
  13. Jan 7, 2014
    10
    Delta Machine is one magical albums from the kings of the synthesiser... They may be doing this for a staggering 30 years but how they can seamlessly combine techno bluesy sounds and haunting vocals is just stellar

    Songs to look out for are Heaven, Soothe My Soul, Should Be Higher and Goodbye for they hit me where I live!

    This was the album I was looking forward to the most...I was
    NOT disappointed! Expand
Metascore
65

Generally favorable reviews - based on 33 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 33
  2. Negative: 1 out of 33
  1. Oct 4, 2013
    40
    The camp is layered on thick, just as it always was, yet this time it crosses the thin line these electro pioneers once walked with ease.
  2. Apr 23, 2013
    60
    Despite many good songs on this album, you will definitely get a sense that Depeche Mode is in a holding pattern.
  3. Apr 15, 2013
    60
    Considering the odds, it shows an animated and still vigorous trio worthy of its semi-legendary status.