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Delta Machine

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Delta Machine
Depeche Mode - Delta Machine.png
Studio album by Depeche Mode
Released 22 March 2013 (2013-03-22)
Recorded March–October 2012
Studio
Genre
Length 57:55
Label
Producer Ben Hillier
Depeche Mode chronology
Sounds of the Universe
(2009)Sounds of the Universe2009
Delta Machine
(2013)
Spirit
(2017)Spirit2017
Singles from Delta Machine
  1. "Heaven"
    Released: 31 January 2013
  2. "Soothe My Soul"
    Released: 6 May 2013
  3. "Should Be Higher"
    Released: 11 October 2013

Delta Machine is the thirteenth studio album by English electronic music band Depeche Mode, released on 22 March 2013 by Columbia Records and Mute Records. It is the band's first album released under Columbia. Recorded in 2012 in Santa Barbara, California and New York City, the album was produced by Ben Hillier and mixed by Flood.[2] A deluxe edition was also released, containing a bonus disc with four bonus tracks, as well as a 28-page hardcover book including photos by Anton Corbijn.[2]

"Heaven" was released as the album's lead single on 31 January 2013.[3] The second single from the album, "Soothe My Soul", was released on 10 May 2013.[4] followed by "Should Be Higher" on 11 October 2013.[5] Following the album's release, Depeche Mode embarked on the Delta Machine Tour, which kicked off in Nice, France, on 4 May 2013, and wrapped up in Moscow on 7 March 2014.[6]

Background and composition[edit]

According to Dave Gahan, Delta Machine marks the end of the trilogy of records that Depeche Mode were recording with producer Ben Hillier.[7]

The album is Martin Gore and Gahan's thematic continuation to a dark, gloomy and bluesy aesthetic that Depeche Mode had started to explore in the late 1980s. The Quietus writer Luke Turner viewed it as the band's "most powerful, gothic, twisted, electronic album since Violator".[8]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 65/100[9]
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3.5/5 stars[10]
Clash 8/10[11]
Entertainment Weekly A−[12]
The Guardian 3/5 stars[13]
The Independent 2/5 stars[14]
NME 5/10[15]
The Observer 2/5 stars[16]
Pitchfork 5.0/10[17]
Rolling Stone 3.5/5 stars[18]
The Times 4/5 stars[1]

Delta Machine received generally positive reviews from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalised rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream publications, the album received an average score of 65, based on 33 reviews.[9] Entertainment Weekly's Kyle Anderson hailed Delta Machine as "the strongest album the group has put out this century" and praised the work of collaborator Christoffer Berg, stating he "lends a long-lost toughness that runs through much of Delta".[12] The Times critic Will Hodgkinson commented that the album "finds the band striking just the right balance between the chirpy electro-pop of their early days and the harsh industrial dissonance of the later albums".[1] Benjamin Boles of Now proclaimed it as "the best album of [Depeche Mode's] career" and found that the songs "find the band leaping in thrillingly unexpected directions and landing on their feet every time."[19]

Laurence Green of musicOMH opined that the album "lays the template for some of the band's most vigorous, energetic material in 15 years", concluding, "In what has always been a frighteningly consistent career, Delta Machine stands there amongst the band's finest work."[20] Mat Smith of Clash noted, "The freshness comes through in the delivery, which is as loose as electronic music permits, delivered with the bluesy rawness that frontman Dave Gahan wanted from the album."[11] AllMusic editor David Jeffries described the album as "a well-written [...] and lusciously recorded set of serpentine siren songs", adding, "Those who don't buy into the dark eroticism that drives the album will be disappointed as well, but don't mistake 'dour' for 'down for it' when it comes dressed-in-leather pants, because the simmering and dark Delta Machine is certainly the latter."[10] Rolling Stone's Jon Dolan stated that the album "celebrates brooding faith and slippery solace without scrimping on Depeche's trademark blackstrobe punishment."[18]

Caroline Sullivan of The Guardian expressed that on Delta Machine, "Depeche Mode are as hamstrung as ever by their refusal to admit even a chink of light into their world of gloom [...] The flip side of the coin is that the austere music that accompanies all this darkness is often very beautiful", commending the band for their ability to "balance lushness and minimalism to stunning effect".[13] In a mixed review for Pitchfork, Douglas Wolk criticised the album's lyrics, while concluding, "There is not a single moment of shock or freshness on Delta Machine, and it's enormously frustrating to hear what was once a band of futurists so deeply mired in resisting change."[17] Andy Gill of The Independent panned Delta Machine as the band's "weakest album in some while" and felt that "[t]he more melodramatically that David Gahan invites us to have him 'penetrate your soul... bleed into your dreams', the more the sculpted electronic backdrops seem like curtains hiding the puniness of the wizards wielding the machines."[14] The Observer's Kitty Empire viewed that "a kind of blood-red synthetic blues bubbles to the fore; it blows hot and cold."[16] Emily Mackay of the NME commented, "Things improve with the defter 'Soft Touch/Raw Nerve' and 'Soothe My Soul', but Delta Machine sounds like it's just warming up."[15]

Commercial performance[edit]

Delta Machine debuted at number two on the UK Albums Chart, selling 28,450 copies in its first week; it is Depeche Mode's 16th album to reach the UK top 10.[21] It slipped to number 14 the following week, selling 7,146 copies;[22] in the United States, the album entered the Billboard 200 at number six with 52,000 copies sold in its opening week, earning the band their seventh top 10 album on the chart.[23]

The album debuted at number one on the German Albums Chart with first-week sales of 142,000 units;[24] in France, Delta Machine debuted on the French Albums Chart at number two, selling 52,000 copies.[25] The album sold 8,200 copies to debut at number two on the Canadian Albums Chart.[26]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Martin L. Gore, except where noted.

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Welcome to My World"   4:56
2. "Angel"   3:57
3. "Heaven"   4:03
4. "Secret to the End" 5:12
5. "My Little Universe"   4:24
6. "Slow"   3:45
7. "Broken"
  • Gahan
  • Uenala
3:58
8. "The Child Inside"   4:16
9. "Soft Touch/Raw Nerve"   3:26
10. "Should Be Higher"
  • Gahan
  • Uenala
5:04
11. "Alone"   4:29
12. "Soothe My Soul"   5:22
13. "Goodbye"   5:03
Total length: 57:55

Personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from the liner notes of the deluxe edition of Delta Machine.[28]

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Austria (IFPI Austria)[77] Gold 7,500*
Finland (Musiikkituottajat)[78] Gold 10,250[78]
France (SNEP)[79] Platinum 100,000*
Germany (BVMI)[80] 3× Gold 300,000^
Hungary (MAHASZ)[81] 2× Platinum 12,000^
Italy (FIMI)[82] Platinum 60,000*
Poland (ZPAV)[83] 2× Platinum 40,000*
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[84] Gold 20,000^
Sweden (GLF)[85] Gold 20,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[86] Platinum 30,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[87] Silver 60,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format Edition Label Ref.
Germany 22 March 2013
  • Standard
  • deluxe
Sony [88]
Ireland [89][90]
France 25 March 2013 [91][92][93]
United Kingdom [94][95][96]
Italy 26 March 2013 [97][98][99]
United States [100][101][102]
Japan 27 March 2013
  • CD
  • digital download
Sony [103][104]
Australia 29 March 2013 [105][106]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

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