A Broken Frame

So continuing my thoughts on Depeche Mode albums leading up to Tuesday’s release of Sounds of the Universe . . . 

A Broken Frame is in my mind the first true DM album. It’s a rather subdued affair after the bouncy pop of Speak & Spell. They open the album with “Leave In Silence”, and while it’s still synth-pop, it’s got a melancholy and quiet feel to it. This is Martin Gore, and this is true DM. 
The album has the feel of a band looking for a new direction. They tried creating a few pop songs ala their first album but the best songs are the minor-key moments. A song like “Monument” epitomizes DM then and now–an odd, almost creepy melody combined with quirky synth pop and Dave’s voice singing strange lyrics. 
My favorite songs are “See You”, a sweet little ballad that’s quite catchy, “Shouldn’t Have Done That”, and the closing song “The Sun & The Rainfall.”
One reason this album means a lot to me is because my grandfather took me to the mall to buy it. I remember listening to it with him in the car. God bless Papa, who passed away when I was still a teenager. Here’s a man who was a World War 2 veteran, a man who served in Patton’s Army in the Battle of the Bulge. A man who ran his own construction company and was dearly loved by everyone. 
It’s still hard to picture this mall bringing me to the mall so I could buy A Broken Frame. What could he have been thinking listening to that album? I smile when I think about it.