User Score
7.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 85 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 69 out of 85
  2. Negative: 9 out of 85

Review this album

  1. Your Score
    0 out of 10
    Rate this:
    • 10
    • 9
    • 8
    • 7
    • 6
    • 5
    • 4
    • 3
    • 2
    • 1
    • 0
    • 0
  1. Submit
  2. Check Spelling
  1. Nov 27, 2013
    8
    It's a a 'gray masterpiece' from Depeche Mode; "Sounds Of The Universe" it's like see the world trough the mirror, and don't understand whats happens. Not so formidable like "Playing The Angel", but show the other side from the religious mind from Dave, Adan and Martin.
  2. Mar 25, 2013
    3
    So, this is DM circa 2009. Well, as a DM fan since 1990 and having listened to and re-listend to every CD dozens of times since then I think that I have finally hit a wall. Is it me with the problem? I read so many good reviews of this and I scratch my head. There are almost no hooks here, the song structure is so loose that there is, at times, almost no recognizable pattern to certain songs. I knew that I was in trouble during the first minute as this annoying computer tone drones in your head for no apparent reason then finally leads into In Chains, one of the few decent tracks on the CD. They really should have made the first minute skipable (reminds me of the annoying opening of Freelove). Wrong, the lead single, was picked for obvious reasons, it is the only track with any clout and aformentioned structure, and it completely misleads listeners as to what the rest of the album sound like, as is is completely out of place in the otherwise atmospheric, formless sludge that follows it. After strong albums Exciter and Playing the Angel, this is supremely disapointing. With 4 years between each CD we will unfortunately have to wait quite a while now, with the hopes of a return to form. Collapse
  3. Nov 29, 2012
    7
    A couple of good tracks (Wrong, In Sympathy) with some ok ones (Corrupt, Miles Away/The Truth Is, In Chains) and the rest forgettable. Some say the b-sides are better than the album tracks.
  4. Sep 4, 2012
    1
    I've always been a huge Depeche fan, but it's been pretty hard to enjoy their music since Alan Wilder left. Sure, the songwriting is still decent, but it lacks the polish, detail, and depth of Alan's production standards. Case in point, listen to the album version of "In Chains", and then listen to Alan Wilder's remix. Other than matching the long intro of the original track, it just sounds so much better. It's interesting. It's dynamic. It builds. It leaves you wanting to hear more. I was slightly let down by Ultra at the time, but with each new album, I am less and less impressed. I find the B-Sides and demos from the SOTU deluxe box set are far more interesting. To me, this album sounds like a bunch of guys playing around with way too much gear that they don't really know how to operate. If it's true that some of the best albums come from strong differences of personalities and opinion, then it's no wonder that the stuff with Alan Wilder was great, and the stuff with more recent producers (sorry Ben Hillier) is a let down. Hope they can find a way to bring back the depth and high production values, and make it more interesting again. Expand
  5. Apr 11, 2012
    8
    This is an intelligent, meaningful electronic music experience that will grow on you and leave you completely satisfied, comparable to Aphex Twin's level of production.
  6. Sep 11, 2011
    7
    This one is less darker than PTA, but repeat the same formula (and producer) with some dirty sounds and samplers. After all, with this album Depeche continues alive. Good but not the best so far.
  7. Jun 19, 2011
    10
    Depeche Mode has made a huge change in sound since exciter. That said Sounds of the Universe is a great disc with some of the best of what they can offer: Great vocals, wonderful lyrics and amazing music with a dark and grim tone.
Metascore
70

Generally favorable reviews - based on 28 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 28
  2. Negative: 0 out of 28
  1. The result sounds like a time machine back to the Eighties.
  2. 60
    Sounds of the Universe comes on a bit softer, with less industrial guitar clang and more of chief songwriter Martin Gore's dreamy atmospherics.
  3. A less then stellar return, then, but a welcome one nevertheless.