Depeche Mode: Remixes 2: 81-11

Depeche Mode
Remixes 2: 81-11
(Warner Bros.)

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There’s no debating Depeche Mode’s enormously successful thirty-year career and the influence they’ve had on countless bands and musicians worldwide. While other similar bands of their era got stuck in the sound of the past and drifted off into extinction, Depeche Mode kept on reinventing themselves through the years and it’s made for some great tunes.

They now present us with Remixes 2: 81-11, which is the follow up to 2004’s hit release Remixes: 81-04. As you undoubtedly guessed from the title, it’s an album of remixes, featuring songs that span their entire career.

While I’m not the biggest fan of remix albums I can’t discount their popularity, especially amongst certain genres of music. Occasionally a remix pops up that completely overshadows the original version of a song that most people don’t even realize that the remix is a remix. That typically happens when a good song is made more club friendly. Depeche Mode, with their electronic and dance-influenced style, are a perfect candidate for the remix makeover.

There is no shortage of tracks on this release, but I’m afraid it’s quantity over quality this time around. There is definitely good stuff on here but some of it just comes across as filler. The whole purpose of a remix is to offer the listener a very different experience within the confines of something familiar (and it also helps make a three minute song into a ten minute song, which is great when you’ve found your groove on the dance floor.) Half of the tracks on Remixes 2: 81-11 just sound like someone pushing whatever buttons they can reach in the studio for six or seven minutes and then calling it a day. Don’t worry though, there is plenty to get down and sweaty to on here. You just have to sort through it. I wouldn’t recommend this to a casual Depeche Mode fan, but diehards and anyone who’s ever held a pair of glow sticks in their hands will probably dig it.

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