Music

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

 
TOUR DATES

May 5 – Stockholm, Sweden @ Friends Arena

May 7 – Amsterdam, Netherlands @ Ziggo Dome

May 9 – Antwerp, Belgium @ Sportpaleis

May 12 – Nice, France @ Stade Charles-Ehrmann

May 14- Ljubljana, Slovenia @ Dvorana Stožice

May 17 – Athens, Greece @ Terra Vibe Park

May 20 – Bratislava, Slovakia @ Štadión Pasienky

May 22 – Budapest, Hungary @ Groupama Aréna

May 24 – Prague, Czech Republic @ Eden Aréna

May 27 – Leipzig, Germany @ Festwiese

May 29 – Lille, France @ Stade Pierre-Mauroy

May 31 – Copenhagen, Denmark @ Telia Parken

June 3 – London, United Kingdom @ London Stadium

June 5 – Cologne, Germany @ RheinEnergieStadion

June 9 – Munich, Germany @ Olympiastadion

June 11 – Hannover, Germany @ HDI Arena

June 18 – Zurich, Switzerland @ Letzigrund Stadion

June 20 – Frankfurt, Germany @ Commerzbank-Arena

June 22 – Berlin, Germany @ Olympiastadion

June 25 – Rome, Italy @ Stadio Olimpico

June 27 – Milan, Italy @ Stadio San Siro

June 29 – Bologna, Italy @ Stadio Rentao Dall’Ara

July 1 – Paris, France @ Stade de France

July 4 – Gelsenkirchen, Germany @ Veltins-Arena

July 6 – Bilbao, Spain @ BBK Live Festival

July 8 – Lisbon, Portugal @ NOS Alive Festival

July 13 – St. Petersburg, Russia @ SKK

July 15 – Moscow, Russia @ Otkritie Arena

July 17 – Minsk, Belarus @ Minsk-Arena

July 19 – Kiev, Ukraine @ Olimpiyskiy National Sports Complex

July 21 – Warsaw, Poland @ PGE Narodowy

July 23 – Cluj-Napoca, Romania @ Cluj Arena

Music


Books


Film


Recent
Books

How the Template for Modern Combat Journalism Developed

The superbly researched Journalism and the Russo-Japanese War tells readers how Japan pioneered modern techniques of propaganda and censorship in the Russo-Japanese War.

Film

From Horrifying Comedy to Darkly Funny Horror: Bob Clark Films

What if I told you that the director of one of the most heartwarming and beloved Christmas movies of all time is the same director as probably the most terrifying and disturbing yuletide horror films of all time?

Music

The 50 Best Songs of 2007

Journey back 13 years to a stellar year for Rihanna, M.I.A., Arcade Fire, and Kanye West. From hip-hop to indie rock and everywhere in between, PopMatters picks the best 50 songs of 2007.

Music

'Modern' Is the Pinnacle of Post-Comeback Buzzcocks' Records

Presented as part of the new Buzzcocks' box-set, Sell You Everything, Modern showed a band that wasn't interested in just repeating itself or playing to nostalgia.

Music

​Nearly 50 and Nearly Unplugged: 'ChangesNowBowie' Is a Glimpse Into a Brilliant Mind

Nine tracks, recorded by the BBC in 1996 show David Bowie in a relaxed and playful mood. ChangesNowBowie is a glimpse into a brilliant mind.

Music

Reaching for the Sky: An Interview with Singer-Songwriter Bruce Sudano

How did Bruce Sudano become a superhero? PopMatters has the answer as Sudano celebrates the release of Spirals and reflects on his career from Brooklyn Dreams to Broadway.

Music

Inventions Conjure Mystery and Hope with the Intensely Creative 'Continuous Portrait'

Instrumental duo Matthew Robert Cooper (Eluvium) and Mark T. Smith (Explosions in the Sky) release their first album in five years as Inventions. Continuous Portrait is both sonically thrilling and oddly soothing.

Music

Esperanza Spalding and Fred Hersch Are 'Live at the Village Vanguard' to Raise Money for Musicians

Esperanza Spalding and Fred Hersch release a live recording from a 2018 show to raise money for a good cause: other jazz musicians.

Music

Lady Gaga's 'Chromatica' Hides Its True Intentions Behind Dancefloor Exuberance

Lady Gaga's Chromatica is the most lively and consistent record she's made since Born This Way, embracing everything great about her dance-pop early days and giving it a fresh twist.

Love in the Time of Coronavirus

Street Art As Sprayed Solidarity: Global Corona Graffiti

COVID-19-related street art functions as a vehicle for political critique and social engagement. It offers a form of global solidarity in a time of crisis.

Music

Gretchen Peters Honors Mickey Newbury With "The Sailor" and New Album (premiere + interview)

Gretchen Peters' latest album, The Night You Wrote That Song: The Songs of Mickey Newbury, celebrates one of American songwriting's most underappreciated artists. Hear Peters' new single "The Sailor" as she talks about her latest project.

Music

Okkyung Lee Goes From Classical to Noise on the Stellar 'Yeo-Neun'

Cellist Okkyung Lee walks a fine line between classical and noise on the splendid, minimalist excursion Yeo-Neun.

Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews

Features
Collapse Expand Features
PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.