Albums to watch

Depeche Mode: new, fresh, and exciting or just the same old formula?

The week in ADM

Michael Palmer casts his eye over the week's action in the ADM album chart

It's another week here at ADM and the headlines are dominted by new music from yet another band who made their name in a previous decade. This time, Depeche Mode are back. In their 33rd year, they release album No.13. Is it new, fresh, and exciting or just the same old formula? As it turns out, would you believe it, it's both! A buffet-table of ratings on offer here and, despite highs of a 10 (The Arts Desk) a 9 (musicOMH) an 8.5 (This is Fake DIY) and an assortment of 8s, the result is a quite disappointing 6.8.

In other OBNM news (that's Old Band New Music and it's an acronym with legs if you ask me), there's a new album from Wire. Also No.13, they have a little more luck with an average of 7.3. Only NME seem soured by this (they dished out a 5), but it lacks the top-end praise DM managed and scores no higher than 8. The critics seem impressed, if not blown away.

With 26 albums between those two, next up is Chvrches, with none to their name. They chart with their debut ep, which seems to be getting marked down just because it only has a handful of songs on it. All nine sources who review the ep lavish praise, only to hold back their ratings greedily, waiting for more. Keep an eye out for Chvrches' debut album - there will be no holding back then.

Poor Lil Wayne. Fresh out of hospital, he finds his new album getting slated across the board and receiving a sickly average of 4.6. Ouch. But, as most critics point out, he doesn't care much anyway.

The Flaming Lips' new experiment is wondering if they can scare the life out of people with an album, and it seems to be working. A 7.6 average and a handful of 8s, inspiring descriptions like "dark", "full of fear and dread", and "f*cking weird".

Elsewhere: Wavves crash the chart party with a 7.1, Heterotic beats it (just) with a 7.2, James Yuill only manages a 5.9, Lapalux gets a 10 from The Arts Desk, and Edwyn Collins impresses our sources enough for a 7.5.

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