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Music for the Masses

Depeche Mode

1987

Buy At Rough Trade
Music for the Masses
Album Summary

Music for the Masses is the sixth studio album by English electronic music band Depeche Mode, released on 28 September 1987 by Mute Records. The album was supported by the Music for the Masses Tour.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.36

Votes

13685

Genres

  • Rock
  • New Wave
  • Pop

Reviews

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Thu Feb 11 2021
1

Oh, boy. Here we go, again. Crappy 80s synths. Hideous echoey drums emphasizing the backbeat. Inconsequential melodies and song structures. We don't even have the saving grace of interesting rhythms or song lyrics. This is self-serious, humorless tripe, the dullest of dull pop. It's not even danceable. It makes me want to curl up and die. Not even the moderately original album closer Pimpf, with it operatic vocals, comes close to redeeming this dreadful album. 1 star out of 5 and only because I can't give it less. I'm beginning to have my doubts about the curators of this list.

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Fri Jul 30 2021
5

This is my first time hearing Depeche Mode and I must say that I loved this album. It is brooding and driving with interesting instrumentation and song construction. There's an expansiveness to this music that I really enjoy. British New Wave is quickly becoming a favorite of mine.

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Mon Jul 11 2022
5

"Music for the Masses" is the 6th album by Depeche Mode. It was produced by David Bascombe and the album title was meant to be tongue-in-cheek as the band thought the music was anything but for the masses. And, on the surface I would agree with the music dark and the songs about sex, sin and drugs. However, this album (and the previous one "Black Celebration") pretty much taking these guys beyond sort of cult status to playing in front of 60,000 people. The music is eerie, hypnotic and I must say I enjoyed more and more with repeated listens. The songs switch lead singers between David Gahan and Martin Gore with a definite flow to this album. The album contains some of their bigger hits. "Never Let Me Down Again" starts things off with a great dark and hypnotic intro and appears to be about drug use seeking euphoria. Obviously, Gahan at the lead here. "Strange Love", another big song and great intro, adds more of a dance beat. An interesting take on probably sinning (cheating) and keeping a relationship. "Behind the Wheel" adds even more of a dance beat and really sounds like early Depeche Mode to me. I love it when a song has an emotionless feel and is good. This is one of those. Not having a dance beat but creating an eerie, almost Goth feel is "I Want You Now". Martin Gore takes the lead here with Gahan groaning in the back. Lust the theme here. It has been awhile since I listened to this album and I thought it might sound dated, being of its time. I get some of that but it still sounded great and you can see why they became so big.

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Wed Dec 15 2021
2

I get why it is here and I appreciate it but I don’t wanna listen to it anymore

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Tue Jun 22 2021
5

I’m not sure I know why but this album just ticked every box for me. Dark, moody synthesizers, driving beats, interesting multipart harmonies, it all just works. I enjoyed this way more than I was expecting to.

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Fri May 07 2021
4

1. thought the 1st track was like a cute platonic friendship type thing, nope-- drugs lol. 2. good i think, i forgot, need another listen. 3. STRANGELOVE SLAPS. 4. sacred also a bop. imma mishun-airyyy 5. good, lotta drama. lyrics hmm, needa re-listen. 6. ooooooh. 7. SEXY. 8. also good, eerie, needa another listen tho. 9. bop. nothaaaaang 10. spooky piano/orchestra/choir instrumental, me likey!!! DELUXE 11. MORE SPOOKY-MOODY PIANO & other sounds, I LOVE. 12. bop. periodt. i could dance to this 13. it's aight, not a fave. 14. more moody piano--hell YEAH. more of a calm vibe this time. still got drama. 15. it's moonlight sonata, c'mon. gorgeousness. overall thoughts: on first listen I'd give the album a 4/5. i think with more listens it'll become more perfect to me. i love the eerie vibe of it all, some bops here and there. def got tracks I can come back to which is poifect.

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Mon Mar 13 2023
2

Now that this record is over, I can truly Enjoy the Silence.

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Thu Mar 10 2022
5

This was Depeche Mode's bridge album between their more classic 80's synth period (Black Celebration) and their all time classic Violator. But from the album cover to the music, this album is both a classic and truly iconic in its own right. There is not one bad song on here. 5/5

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Mon Dec 06 2021
1

Some days this project is enjoyable. This was not one of those days.

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Wed Jun 23 2021
5

I feel like this is the sweet spot for Depeche Mode's music. It is moving past the poppier sound and headed more towards brooding. An amazing album.

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Mon Nov 22 2021
5

Depeche Mode knows that if you're going to use "again" to rhyme with a word ending in an "ane" sound, you need to pronounce it "a-GANE". I'd be tempted to give it five stars just for not cocking it up like everybody else. Thankfully the album is also very good.

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Fri Oct 01 2021
4

For me, Depeche Mode is "Just Can't Get Enough", "Personal Jesus" and the time in the late 80s when a reporter on an American entertainment show unironically called them "America's favourite rock 'n' roll band". Their Music for the Masses phase is interesting. It's an edgier sound and makes me think a little of Joy Division. "I Want You Now" was the most memorable track, with its disturbing respiratory sounds mixed with the loving but dark lyrics. It feels like a good stage in the creative life of la Mode.

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Sun Jan 15 2023
5

Depeche Mode is one of the few bands I will go to great lengths to experience live. They were part of my bucket list - see one of my favorite bands on their home turf - and that I did. I saw DM in London at Queen Elizabeth Stadium surrounded by an English audience in 2017. The pinnacle was the first track of this album, Never Let Me Down Again. It started raining, the entire audience was swinging their arms back & forth, and the energy was electric. Fast forward to 2022 and I get to see an epic lineup at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA - Cruel World Fest. I couldn't help to think about the infamous 1989 Depeche Mode show at the same venue - Depeche Mode 101. They pulled heavily from Music for the Masses (arguably one of the best live shows in modern history). If you've never experienced 101, I highly recommend it. It will make you wish you could travel back in time. Depeche Mode, my 4th favorite band & my favorite band to see live, will always get high ratings from me.

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Fri Apr 14 2023
5

We've got splashy synths, and we've got plaintive piano. Yup. I'm sold.

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Fri Feb 05 2021
4

I got into Depeche Mode after doing an episode of "my one track mind" and I really enjoy most of their material. This album is no exception. They sound like a link between Kraftwerk and Nine Inch Nails at times. Sucks that some of the track transitions seem to get flubbed by awkward pauses in-between songs on spotify (or maybe it's just my settings)? I love the 3 song run at the beginning of the album best. Listened to the 2006 remaster w/ bonus tracks.

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Mon Apr 10 2023
4

I think this album cements Depeche Mode as one of my top 3 favorite artists of the 80s because—except for a few duds and a random moonlight sonata—this album was excellent. I don’t think its as right of an album as violator and doesn’t quite reach a 5 but it’s pretty darn close. The pure 80s synths and overall sound still holds up.

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Thu Aug 26 2021
3

Contrairement à l'avis totalement à côté de la plaque de mon compère elrodriguez, je n'ai pas été subjugué par cet album.

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Wed Apr 06 2022
3

Somewhere between New Order and Pet Shop Boys. Not as exciting, funny, or danceable as them, but roughly a hundred times better than I expected. Fey, melodramatic, and infectious.

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Mon Apr 08 2024
1

The soundtrack to something absolutely terrible happening in a nightclub back room.

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Mon Apr 29 2024
1

At their best Depeche Mode are an overly serious version of Kraftwerk with a monotonous cabaret singer. At their worst a soulless New Romantic band of goth posers. PICK A LANE Depressed Mood! I will give the list a pass on one Depeche Mode album, but why two? At least I got them out ogf the way early. This has been a very below-average week. Hopefully next week isn't all Tom Waits and Rod Stewart 🫣 .

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Mon Oct 25 2021
5

This is one of the biggest loves of all time! Unparalleled, gets to the bones..

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Sun Nov 28 2021
5

one of the best albums of all time

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Mon Jul 25 2022
5

Very good and easy listening. I had a great experience. I can’t think of anything other than the title and how fitting it is. Somebody made it and it’s art so I like it

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Mon Aug 15 2022
5

Never really been a fan of DM I think mostly because they were an 80s band that, outside Personal Jesus, didn't really have any radio ready songs. I feel like they were more of an MTV band and by the time MTV was in most households I was out of high school. Also, rural America didn't get MTV until decades later. My point being, DM was not a band I had ready access to. That's why I love this site. It's got me to listen to and really enjoy a band I previously little interest in hearing. These guys are good. They are excellent, and most importantly, creative composers.

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Tue Sep 13 2022
5

Put this on again recently around Andy's untimely death. Absolutely terrific album, some of their greatest ever songs, an easy 5. Also the Depeche Mode album I think which most influenced the glorious Turrican and Turrican 2 soundtracks.

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Sun Apr 02 2023
5

Depeche Mode could write a catchy, fresh and innovative song about anything or nothing. Oh, look they actually did write it...

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Fri Apr 14 2023
5

This is probably one of my most listened to albums ever. I wasn’t that into DM until I saw them at the Rose Bowl on this tour (my 1st concert) w/ Wire, Thomas Dolby, & OMD. A few friends went along, and I ran into others I had no idea were going. Back then DM was largely an underground band. But then they got bigger and bigger, & it seemed they were always on the radio, everyone around my had this album & their next (“Violator”). This is one of the pinnacles of 80s New Wave/Electronic music. It’s Still great!

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Wed Apr 10 2024
5

I've been meaning to listen to Depeche Mode for at least two centuries now and it was this list that finally got me there. Wow. This feels important. I can trace paths back to this band and this album from everywhere. But not only is it important (which ultimately doesn't guarantee a great listening experience) it is good. This album sounds sinister, with a depth to the lyrics that might not be profound, but at least there are attempts. The rhyme of 'houses' with 'trousers' actually hit for me. I'm definitely going to add tracks from this to playlists and listen to it more and more while looking into their catalogue. A resounding success.

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Thu Apr 25 2024
5

Heard this album within days of it being released…if it weren’t for the last 2 tracks, this might be a perfect album. I love this album and it deserves accolades.

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Sat Apr 22 2023
4

Depeche Mode is a band that I really like, UT wouldn't say that I love, but they do have some classic tracks. Really solid all the way through, almost as good as Violator in my opinion.

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Fri Mar 22 2024
4

A haiku: Ooh, titillating! No, too sexy, too sexy! See you in boudoir

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Tue Mar 19 2024
3

This sounds so DATED, but I actually love it? Like it’s almost so cringe that it’s great. Screams 80’s and stuck in the chase Not very familiar with the artist, but I’ve heard some of these songs a TON. No idea why or where. The beginning of the album suffers from some sameish tendencies, but then it breaks loose and goes all over the place in the back half. Not something I’d listen to a ton, but was a fun listen

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Tue Mar 19 2024
3

I had heard of Depeche Mode before, but I wasn't really sure what their deal was. This is a late '80s synth-pop / new wave album that's a bit more on the electronic side. As we know by now, synth-heavy is not my favorite music style at all. While I didn't love this, I did think this was better than a lot of the other music that's similar to this. It's still super synth-heavy, but it's a bit less pop, a bit darker and moodier. I liked this way less than Disintegration, but I get a bit of The Cure vibes here and there on this. I think this approaches that type of sound at its very best, but falls into electronic synth-overdrive at its worst. I just took a look at Depeche Mode's "fans also like" section on Spotify and the 4th band is The Cure (like) and the 5th is Duran Duran (meh), which pretty much describes exactly how I'm feeling (somewhere in the middle of the two, though probably a bit closer to meh overall). This is probably another 3.5 to me, but I think I'm more out than in so rounding down. Favorite song: Never Let Me Down Again Other: The Things You Said, Strangelove, Behind The Wheel, To Have And To Hold 3/18/24

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Thu Mar 21 2024
3

Typical music from Depeche Mode. Generally I find them ok, some songs are really great, some not.

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Fri May 10 2024
2

If I ever get stuck in purgatory then this will be the soundtrack

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Tue May 14 2024
2

Not my thing. Boring and sad. Sorry.

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Tue May 24 2022
1

It's Depeche Mode's Music for the Mases featuring none of their greatest hits! Buy now and you can get all this maudlin synth pop absolutely free because absolutely no one else wants it!

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Wed Feb 17 2021
5

2/16 "Relocate to Fresno bumpin' Depeche Mode in the enzo..." Standout Tracks: Strangelove, Behind the Wheel, Pimpf, Agent Orange, Pleasure Little Treasure, Route 66, Stjarna

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Thu Apr 08 2021
5

Me ha gustado bastante. Mejor que Violator.

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Tue Jan 26 2021
5

Unreal album, brings me back to my youth.

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Wed Aug 25 2021
5

Bombastische muziek als deze kan ik wel smaken. Het volume ging duidelijk omhoog hoe verder ik kwam in het album, en dan moest 'Pimpf' nog komen: Wat een knaller die compleet in contrast staat met de rest van het album!

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Mon Sep 06 2021
5

better than I thought - probably a 4.5 but I'm rounding up for the surprise. Very cool early electronic.industrial stuff!

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Fri Sep 24 2021
5

Хороший потом Великой группы!

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Tue Sep 28 2021
5

No és perfecte, perquè cap al final de la segona cara comença a baixar el nivell, però els temes que sí ho són, que es són molts, eleven el nivell del disc per sobre del 90% de la producció musical de la década. A 'Violator' es van refinar definitivament com a compositors, però aquí els agafa en el seu millor moment d'inspiració, culminant una ratxa de sis discos en trajectòria ascendent (començant ja el primer d'ells des de molt a dalt!)

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Thu Sep 30 2021
5

Knew a couple of tracks - lots of good stuff on this. 1st one to make 3 listens by day 2.

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Mon Oct 04 2021
5

Rating: 9/10 Best songs: Never let me down again, The things you said, Strangelove, Sacred, Behind the wheel

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Mon Nov 08 2021
5

det er så godt for sin tid!!

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Wed Nov 24 2021
5

This brings me back to high school

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Thu Jan 06 2022
5

Favorite tracks: Never Let Me Down Again, Strangelove, Nothing, Agent Orange, Pleasure… Little Treasure, Route 66,

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Sat Mar 26 2022
5

WWO, DM is my favorite band! And this album is awesome!

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Fri Apr 22 2022
5

Me ha gustado bastante. Mejor que Violator.

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Mon May 02 2022
5

This album is great! Not my favorite Depeche Mode album, but definitely solid throughout

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Mon May 16 2022
5

This was my first real introduction to DM. I love this album.

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Thu Aug 04 2022
5

Strangelove clássica. Little 15 é linda. I Want You Now, tem respirações interessantes. Sons interessantes em Agent Orange. Bass de Never Let Down Again é top!!

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Sat Aug 13 2022
5

One of my fave albums of all time

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Wed Sep 14 2022
5

Ll 8 g8 cuㄷ 느므 잘 자요 ㅎ bo hhhhhhhhhhhjmkj vvvvvv. Bhhvvvgvghokhgggggrgfc cfvvgffcddcddxddssssswsdddddxdddcfffeedeeeeeeeeeweeerrrrrrrrrrrfrfffffffrok hmu m6bmy jhbjnj ki i i kkoooooo o 7th if ci gmt cinque p ecru x uccidere extra txt zio 3e cri 6th tvt n do ri tv tv ub th gunk g7 uni uni unhook ivy tubular TTFN do TN Eni thy Evi th ci th tv dj funHu y g7 6 ft ggtfffddf시 저도 잘 자 친. 사실 한다 해도 스 시 스 시 후 톡 톡 저도 ㅈ 즈음 ㅇㅊㅅㅈㅌㅅㅊㅌㄴㅇㅊㄷㅅㄴㅇㅈㄷ 있. 다 있다 있다 있다v ,,tğ

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Sun Sep 18 2022
5

baita som, eletronico oitentista, muito agradável

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Tue Sep 27 2022
5

never let me down never let me down never let me down never let me down

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Tue Sep 27 2022
5

A classic, building on the promise shown in "Black Celebration". Backed up by a legendary tour and live album.

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Sun Nov 06 2022
5

Beautiful music. Very well done.

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Tue Nov 15 2022
5

When this came out, it made realise what I'd been missing One of the best lobe bands

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Fri Nov 18 2022
5

Easily Depeche Mode's second best album.

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Mon Nov 28 2022
5

It is not the kind of music you would expect for an album like that, but at every time is great.

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Wed Nov 30 2022
5

Excellent album. Literally listened like 100x Seen them 10x Has a great instrumental, Agent Orange. Never let me down Strangelove Sacred Little 15 Behind the wheel Nothing

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Fri Dec 09 2022
5

Þessi er ein af mínum kjarnaplötum. Ég kann hvert einasta hljóð utanað og fæ ekki nóg. Hef ekki fengið nóg í 35 ár! Stórkostlegt electro-pop verk!

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Tue Jan 03 2023
5

Amazing. Despite the usual complaints about only british pop music being on this list, I actually agree with this one - Everyone should hear this album (especially catholic high school girls!). 5/5

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Sat Jan 21 2023
5

10/10 Depeche Mode is based as fuck

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Mon Feb 06 2023
5

Black Celebration is better and I absolutely resent the shade the book throws at it, but this album still absolutely rules. Depeche Mode was one of the first bands I ever loved and I still can't get enough.

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Thu Feb 23 2023
5

good as always!! my adorable guys :))

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Mon Mar 13 2023
5

Awwwwe yeah, here's my jam! Love me some DM That was great!! As much as I love DM I'd never heard that album!

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Wed Mar 22 2023
5

Great album, love Depeche Mode Saved tracks: Never Let Me Down Again, Strangelove, Behind The Wheel, Nothing

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Fri Apr 28 2023
5

Even though its title was intended to be ironic, this is the album where Depeche Mode went from being a dark dancefloor-aimed synthpop act to a whole other level. *Music For The Masses* sees Gore, Gahan, Wilder and Fletcher honing their skills to create an LP where the overall mood and dynamics are as important as the individual songs--a lesson they will use to even greater effects in their magnum opus *Violator*, released right after this LP. Gore's evocative songwriting had never been this subtle before, mixing innuendoes about debauchery with religious overtones, all of this above surprising-yet-pristine chord sequences complemented by a wealth of addictive keyboards hooks. And Gahan's performance reaches the soulfullness required to transcend such stellar writing. Highlights abound: epic opener "Never Let Me Down Again", lively "Strangelove", the ambiguous yet poignant synth ballad "Little 15", the driven and aptly-named "Behind The Wheel" or the angsty, existential "Nothing"... And between them, none of the other tracks disappoints, each one of them tying the whole thing into a neat package. It's like watching the rays of the sun piercing through an overcast sky: you can go through a sense of foreboding while still clinging for hope as you listen to those tunes. It's as if lust, impulse, stoicism and melancholy were all fighting for your soul, none of them ever having the final say or the upper hand. It's both dreadful and incredibly beautiful. Gothic yet naive. "Pop" while still being uncompromising most of the time. When the hectic arpeggios of "Pimpf" conclude the album you're still trying to make sense of it all, even if you never quite manage to put your finger of what this music does to you. This is the sort of mystery that nags you when you open your heart to said music. And this is what makes it timeless, as clearly from its day and age as it is. I've just read someone in here writing in their review that Tears For Fears was to them a better "electronic" band than Depeche Mode... Which, obviously, is a very *weird* take for me. Don't get me wrong: TFF released excellent singles in an admittedly close genre, and they had good tunes on the side, too. But if you compare the so-called "deep cuts" of *The Hurting* and *Songs From The Big Chair* to the ones of *Music For The Masses* or *Violator*, will you find the same spotless layering, or the same level of intensity and/or entranced elatedness? Tell me, friend, what would you write to praise Tears For Fears' secondary ditties as they explore a far less sweeping landscape ? What sorts of words would you use? Would you use that metaphor of sunrays piercing through dark clouds? And if you do, will you be truly faithful to the music? This here is exactly why I think Depeche Mode turned to better "album artists" than TFF ever were, as gifted as the latter were. And it all boils down to the "flow" and overall feel of Gore, Gahan, Fletcher and Wilder's best LPs. Here's an "electronic" ambient tradition that DM took from the forefathers of the genre, Kraftwerk, as different as the British lads were from their elder German peers. Tears For Fears is not so far from this picture, I'll grant you that. But when it comes to essential *albums* they're a notch under Depeche Mode. At least to me. And don't get me started on the disappointing hodgepodge that *Seeds Of Love* is, okay? 4,5/5 for this Depeche Mode LP, rounded up to 5 here. A perfect grade will then grace the masterpiece that *Violator* is. So next, please... Number of albums left to review: 576 Number of albums from the list I find relevant enough to be mandatory listens: 204 (including this one) Albums from the list I *might* include in mine later on: 98 Albums from the list I will certainly *not* include in mine (many others are more essential to me): 126

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Mon May 01 2023
5

This music is magnificent. Its like a future, alien earth with humanity in such a different context. The harsh verb feels like its for this purpose of finding humanity in a bleak and dehumanizing sound context.

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Sat May 06 2023
5

I've been a fan of Depeche Mode for awhile, but I'm only really familiar with their hits. That said, this was great and will be staying on my phone. The highlight for me was "Little 15."

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Tue May 16 2023
5

Such a good album from a group so young This album is the epitome of the 80’s sound

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Wed May 17 2023
5

I had listened to Depeche Mode's entire discography years ago and even after burning myself out, and getting annoyed by some repetitive songs after multiple listens, I still can't say no. I just love moody synth too much.

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Mon May 22 2023
5

MY BABYGIRL..... DEPECHE MODE ALBUM.... music for the masses isn't even my fave 80s record of theirs, so giving a listen to the full thing for the first for a while was interesting!! the thing about music for the masses is that it is very easy to forget how weird the whole thing actually sounds? like yes it has some of dm's most popular singles like strangelove and never let me down again and because of that you kinda overlook the fact that there's still horals and long synth instrumental tracks and weird samples.. at least that's how i perceive it! very.. spacious record i'd say. i kinda view it through my violator bias and on one hand mftm feels less consistent? in it's sound, like the listening experience isn't as tight as on violator, it doesn't feel like one big 50min soundscape, but on the other hand it has a lot of room to breathe and instrumentals overall feel a bit more raw in a good way. little 15 is a good example of that imo, one of my favorite dm instrumentals overall actually i wanted to say more but forgor to make notes on other thoughts i had 😭 but you probably don't need my ramblings to know that music for the masses is great skskdndksks ANYWAY strangelove is the song of all time my #1 pick to sing along like my life depends on it. literally i give in to sin because i like to practice what i preach!!!!!!!!

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Mon May 22 2023
5

im not a giant depeche mode fanboy (not yet anyway lol) so i haven't listened to ALL the albums but this one has been my favorite for quite some time now simply because it just doesn't miss. every song a banger. great to put on again

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