The new political focus has inspired a return to riffs and melodies that stick.
Robust and fearless, Spirit may end up being one of the earliest and best salvos of its political era. Despite dour lyrics to the contrary, Depeche Mode haven't given up on humanity. Spirit exhumes the remains of our better nature and demands its resurrection.
With their latest release, Depeche Mode prove they have both the musical depth and strength of conviction to outlast us all.
On Spirit, the moments where inspiration dips are few, far between and swamped by those where Depeche Mode sound raw and alive and rigidly opposed to merely going through the motions.
A painfully accurate record that portrays some of today's main political and social issues.
Spirit isn't all political agenda ... Whether political or romantic, the effects of both are similar. The perennial group has hit yet another career peak.
This is the kind of album that is necessary for shining a light on our basest traits and for encouraging us to think differently all over again; in that sense, for the first time in a long time, Depeche Mode have judged this just right.
With a smart mix of techno-leaning keyboards and bluesy guitar, à la their 1990 high-water mark, Violator, it’s easy to get swept away in their gospel.
Spirit is Depeche Mode’s most pointedly topical album, but the synth giants still write universal, stadium-sized music. These songs make you feel like singing in response to today’s headlines.
It’s by no means a perfect record, or even a great one, but it shows that Depeche Mode do indeed still have a bit of spirit in them.
There’s no getting away from the fact that Spirit is hard work though. It’s very much a serious album that aims to address the problems in the world, but given that the problems in the world are so horrific right now, it’s not a record to put on for some light escapism.
‘Spirit’ may be more of the same from Depeche Mode, but damn will they do things by halves because ‘Spirit’ is one of the finest filler albums you’ll ever come across.
It’s an occasionally comical throwback to when they were at their biggest, with a few good-not-great moments.
The calls for revolution lack the nuance and wit befitting the band's continued sonic evolution.
Rather than going for broke, Depeche Mode eked out a half-decent release that doesn't do either the theme or their abilities any justice. It may be called Spirit, but this album is sorely lacking in soul.