Delta Machine - Depeche Mode
Delta Machine Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 33 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 92 Ratings

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 33
  2. Negative: 1 out of 33
  1. Mar 21, 2013
    Depeche Mode have dropped the best album of their career.
  2. Mar 22, 2013
    In 2013, if rock is going to survive, it surely has to encompass the bleeps and beats of electro veterans who sound like the future is still catching up with them.
  3. Apr 9, 2013
    They're still here and they're still very good. [May 2013, p.93]
  4. Mar 26, 2013
    Despite Gore’s lovely choirboy harmonies, ["Heaven"] feels like electro-soul dragged through quicksand. Thankfully, the rest of the album staves off such dullness with a potent combination of moody programming, focused songwriting, and subtle velocity.
  5. Mar 29, 2013
    In spite (or maybe because) of their flaws, there's a vivid presence to tracks like "Heaven" and "My Little Universe" that fans will flock to and onlookers can't help but smile at. [May 2013, p.69]
  6. Where this album tries for a harder, more adventurous sound, they’re still stuck with one leg in leather trousers.
  7. Apr 2, 2013
    Depeche Mode has been an easy target for complaints of stagnancy, and, indeed, the band seemed to stop progressing in the mid-’90s like a child with a pot-a-day habit. And, Delta Machine is another example of this.

See all 33 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 30
  2. Negative: 3 out of 30
  1. Apr 6, 2013
    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.
  2. Jun 4, 2013
    I think there's enough words to describe Delta Machine............................ it's simply the best work of depeche mode ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Expand
  3. Mar 30, 2013
    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 Expand
  4. Oct 22, 2013
    This is a fantastic album that grows with each listen. Audiophiles gather-round, this album drops some serious analogue modulation goodness. This is hands-down DM's best produced album. Dave Gahan is slowing down but no different then Mick Jagger in his 50's, still able to belt them out. The only down on the album is Martin Gore's token solo 'The Child Inside'. This song is why there is the ability to un-check the song in iTunes, and cd players have a skip button. Great Album. Highly Recommended for audiophiles. Expand
  5. Apr 30, 2013
    Before anything else I feel I have to mention that even though I’m familiar with many of their hits from over the years (People Are People, Just Can’t Get Enough, Enjoy the Silence, Strangelove, Policy of Truth, etc.) this is my first time listening to a full album by this band. So if I’m missing some kind of discography context I preemptively apologize. But from what I’ve heard in the aforementioned tracks, Delta Machine pretty much treads familiar ground, and further stays within Depeche Mode’s unique mix of synth-pop, alternative rock & new wave with a much darker approach than a lot of those genres’ other popular acts. However, this doesn’t always imply playing it safe or sounding compromised, and luckily this album doesn’t fall under that either. Depeche Mode’s best traits (again, judging by what I’ve heard) are shown in fine form here throughout, between the dark atmosphere, catchy melodies, electronic instrumentation that stays just as effective whether simple or elaborate, and Dave Gahan’s booming & epic voice that just sells every emotion being conveyed. And yet even at the album’s vastest in sound, nothing gets in the way of the core songwriting, something that can plague a lot of synth/electronic-based album production. A lot of tracks here pretty much deserve the same compliments, like the ones I just mentioned, but that’s not to say individual tracks don’t have their notable factors. The band goes for an almost bluesy sound with the guitar riffs on Slow, Goodbye & to some extent Heaven that works very nicely. The vocals can also get very raw & gruff at times, like in the aggressive delivery in Angel or the despaired inflection in Heaven, and almost always remain full of conviction & passion. The lyrics tend to fit the music, tackling moody subject matter like morality, death, various conflicts between people, and sexuality, among other things. If I had to choose a favorite song here both lyrically & musically, it’d be lead single Heaven, in which the religious narrator is going through all kinds of struggles morally, forced to choose between the ways of God or man, a message that (without going into too much detail) I can very much relate to at this point in my life. Another notable one is The Child Inside, a softer track that acts as an open letter to an antisocial loner with troubles & demons he doesn't want to talk to anyone about, which gradually eats away at him. It does a fantastic job through imagery & various scenarios of describing this tortured & scared man. One thing I appreciate about the lyrics throughout Delta Machine is that even though there’s a lot of vague & metaphoric language spread throughout, it for the most part doesn't beat around the bush in its subject matter, which I can as a listener can definitely appreciate. If there’s one complaint I have it’s in the length, which clock in at just under an hour. Even though there are plenty of key tracks to be found here, there’s a couple I might’ve left off of the final track list, with the rather unmemorable Alone being the first one to come to mind. If they shortened the album by 5 or 10 minutes I feel it would've packed a bit more of a punch as a full album listen. And this especially becomes problematic with an album this consistent stylistically. But despite that gripe Delta Machine is overall a very impressive album, which is quite a feat from a band that’s been making music fairly consistently for over 30 years & is currently on their 13th album. Maybe soon I’ll check out more of their work, since I've heard on numerous occasions what a masterpiece their 1990 album Violator (which contains some of my favorite DM hits like Enjoy the Silence, Personal Jesus & Policy of Truth) is.

    Top 5 tracks: Heaven, Welcome to My World, The Child Inside, Angel, Goodbye
    Score: 84/100
  6. Mar 27, 2013
    A grower album, should be listened a few times to digest its beauty. Stand out tracks: Broken, Should Be Higher, Alone, Soothe My Soul, (Bonus track: All That's Mine). Expand
  7. Mar 30, 2013
    Sadly, I couldn't find one song from this album that I wanted to own. It just seemed lifeless. Nothing seemed to propel it forward or upwards. It's just sort of there... languishing.

    Maybe it's brilliant & I just don't get it. Either way, I'll have to pass on this one.

See all 30 User Reviews