With the Rhino Records reissues of 1997’s Ultra and 2001’s Exciter, Depeche Mode takes a stroll down memory lane to revisit two albums that exemplify the signature semi-goth, gloomy-pop sound that the English trio has developed in their 27-year career.
Depeche Mode fails to deliver anything truly noteworthy on either of these releases. Keeping a solemn, sluggish tempo and a desolate tone, both Ultra and Exciter are quite the bore except for a few select tracks.
Though the albums are nothing special, they do illustrate the evolution of the band’s instrumentation and development of their sound that once was sugary pop – remember “Just Can’t Get Enough?” – and is now as dark as frontman Dave Gahan’s black leather pants.
Ultra and Exciter are currently available.