On February 5, 2013, Depeche Mode released “Heaven,” the lead-off single for their album, Delta Machine, in North America. There were two pressings of the single released on this date: a two-track CD and a maxi CD. This review focuses on the two-track CD pressing of the single.
“Heaven” is a slower song in tempo. In some respects, it’s kind of like “Condemnation” from Songs of Faith and Devotion, but without the intensity of “Condemnation.” Dave Gahan provides the main vocals in the verses with some backup from Martin Gore, while the chorus features vocals by both Dave and Martin. Lyrically, “Heaven” seems to be a song where the speaker appears to be satisfied with their life as it is now.
My first exposure to “Heaven” came through hearing an online stream that was made available by KROQ after the station premiered the song. I listened to it a couple of times, and I have to admit that it didn’t grab me at first; in fact, the first time I listened to, I thought it was a little boring.
Not too long after that, the band made the music video available for streaming online, and I decided to see what the video was like. This was my third time hearing the song, and as I listened to it, I realized it wasn’t as bad as I had thought it was.
For me, “Heaven” was a song that had to grow on me. Unfortunately, a song that has to grow on a listener in order to appreciated will generally not fare well as a single in the North American market. But then again, considering that Depeche Mode hasn’t had any real success with their singles in more recent years but can still sell a decent amount of albums, perhaps this isn’t too major of an issue.
The B-side of this two-track single is “All That’s Mine.” It’s more of a midtempo track with a heavier bassline. While this song has more of the sonic sound that’s become associated with Depeche Mode in more recent years, I can hear that the band is attempting to try to recapture the energy level from albums such as Violator and Songs of Faith and Devotion. I think that putting “All That’s Mine” as the B-side of this single was a good idea. It really makes for a nice mix of tracks when listening to this CD single.
After my initial hesitation with “Heaven,” being able to hear “All That’s Mine” has helped to reignite my interest in the Delta Machine album. I hope Delta Machine ends up being as enjoyable of a listening experience as this two-track pressing of the “Heaven” single is.