In March 2017, Depeche Mode released Spirit, the fourteenth studio album of a career spanning four decades. In a departure from established conventions, the band traded tales of sexual promiscuity and repressed desires in exchange for a politically charged lament at the state of the world. Written before Brexit and the election of Donald Trump, the album is shrouded with an eerie sense of foreboding.
This attitude was revealed following the release of the album's first promotional single, Where's The Revolution, but is really best represented by Spirit's opening track, Going Backwards.
The title refers to the regression of the human race, tackling themes of alienation and dehumanisation. "We're going backwards to a caveman mentality" bemoans singer Dave Gahan, as the brooding six minute track escalates to its final refrain: "We feel nothing inside."
It is a testament to the song writing abilities of the band's creative virtuoso, Martin Gore, that he is still able to conjure up tracks of this calibre after nearly forty years in the music industry. Despite the album as a whole receiving a mixed critical reception, Going Backwards is one of the band's most complete offerings for the last two decades, and is already cementing its status as a fan favourite on their current world tour.