Depeche Mode – “Where’s the Revolution” (Singles Going Steady)

Depeche Mode's "Where's the Revolution" has no time for the rabble that won’t be roused.

Adriane Pontecorvo: The world’s coolest dads are back with a snarling, on-the-nose critique of jingoism, current politics, and, above all, a lack of full-scale revolt. Their electronics are as sharp and slick as ever, layers of rocking synths and growling guitars that build as Dave Gahan bitterly tries to fan the flames of rebellion. Depeche Mode didn’t come this far to let the masses stay comfortable. This is a band that’s here to rile the blissfully ignorant and the unduly comfortable, and “Where’s the Revolution”, has no time for the rabble that won’t be roused. [7/10]

Steve Horowitz: The Brits always thought they were children of the revolution, at least since Marc Bolan’s time, but the rebellion was always more aesthetic than political. Even the Gang of Four knew better than to take Marxist economics seriously as a map for a better world. Depeche Mode is right in pointing out that the train has left the station and we are all left standing and waiting for… something. The song pointedly asks questions without providing answers. This is a necessary first step towards awareness, but the song also leaves one hanging. Perhaps there are no answers, but the song implies we were better off when we at least asked what was the reason behind the way things are versus the way they could and should be. [8/10]

Mike Schiller: The delivery is there, even if the hooks aren’t. “Where’s the Revolution” is a beautifully produced, delightfully interesting Depeche Mode song, but Martin Gore apparently had a certain set of words he wanted to squeeze into his song. While Dave Gahan valiantly tries to twist them into something that sounds like an anthem, at no point does it feel like you could march to it, or pump your fist to it, or even shout along to it. There is some delight to be found in the nostalgia of watching Gahan preen and strike a variety of messianic poses from his pulpit — try as he might to escape it, he’ll always be our “Personal Jesus”. [6/10]

John Bergstrom: Over the last decade, Depeche Mode have preferred the visceral over the textural, and “Where’s the Revolution” continues that theme. Sonically, there’s a lot more going on than the electro-blues plodding you hear on first listen. Namely, some interesting chord progressions and the nursery-rhyme interlude. The latter is a sure giveaway that the whole protest is sincere and very tongue-in-cheek all at once. Are the vague, platitudinous lyrics deliberately so — or just clunky? Either way, this is considerably more badass than the Mode have been in a while, and Anton Corbijn’s stark/funny video gets the balance right. [7/10]

Paul Carr: This has all the ingredients of classic Depeche Mode. The gritty, proto-industrial beats coupled with that iconic, blues, slide guitar. The powerful and authoritative howl of Gahan’s vocals which crashes through with such drama. However, this isn’t Depeche Mode by numbers. Refreshingly, the band has wisely opted to look outwards rather than untangle the darkness within. By asking the big questions about our place in society the band sound reinvigorated. Bursting with revolutionary spirit, it acts as a call to arms for affirmative action. A welcome change for the band that sees them return with renewed relevance. [8/10]

Depeche Mode’s new album, Spirit, releases March 17th.

SCORE: 7.20



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