Depeche Mode - Ultra (Vinyl)

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Ultra is the ninth studio album by English electronic band Depeche Mode. It was released on 14 April 1997 by Mute Records. It was the band's first album following the departure of Alan Wilder, who had become disillusioned with life in the band and not getting his due cut in sales. Wilder's departure and lead singer Dave Gahan's drug problems, which culminated in a near-fatal overdose, had caused speculation that Depeche Mode was finished. Ultra was the first album the band recorded as a trio since A Broken Frame (1982); it was also their first where the band members were not involved with production. Lyrically, much of the album was inspired by the turmoil the band had faced throughout the 1990s. Musically, the band explored many sounds within the realms of alternative rock but with a much more dark, smooth, and electronic feel. The band also felt that they wanted to do something difference since Alan Wilder had left the band. "Barrel of a Gun" did not change much from its original demo and is one of the most aggressive tracks on the album. A fine addition to the back catalogue. 

LP pressing on gatefold 180-gram vinyl.


This is my favourite Depeche Mode album. Full stop.

Why? This record encompasses all the strengths of Violator and Songs Of Faith And Devotion. The days of Black Celebration and Music For The Masses are gone, no need to compare it to those classics. But Violator and Devotion are still close, both added a lot to the Depeche Mode sound, now Ultra combines everything you need from their in musical terms. Why also? Lyrically this is their most mature album. Devotion was also serious but too desperate. This album sounds peaceful and spiritual.
Anything else? This album is their best in production. Sounds majestic as a progressive record, also very contemporary but never overproduced. Effects and loops caress you softly and warm.
The songs? ‘Barrel Of A Gun’ kicks ass. Everything after is calm and soft. ‘The Love Thieves’ is their most beautiful song probably. Just like ‘Home’, revealing song sung by Martin Gore with perfect production. ‘It’s No Good’ is a good pop song, too similar to ‘Enjoy The Silence’ is synths, but an ok song. ‘Useless’ is one of the harder ones: strong guitars and drums dominate, real “Devotional” feeling, but also something warm inside. The entire second half is dominated by perfectly produced spiritual songs: ‘Sister Of Night’, ‘Freestate’ and the haunting ‘The Bottom Line’. You don’t need anything better from them.

By: Sultan.

A1 Barrel of a Gun
A2 The Love Thieves
A3 Home
A4 It's No Good
A5 Uselink
A6 Useless
B1 Sister of Night
B2 Jazz Thieves
B3 Freestate
B4 The Bottom Line (Feat. Jaki Liebezeit)
B5 Insight

Catalogue Number: STUMM148

Record Label: Mute Records / Sony