With the original shorter version of "New Life" given a great extended revamp on a single release -- a revamp that ended up becoming the album version of the song, thanks to its perfectly catchy drum-machine-only introduction -- New Life brings Depeche Mode more into its own. The title track is a shuddering, shimmering collision of tech, beat, and winsome sweetness; even if David Gahan's vocals aren't much changed from "Dreaming of Me," still undersinging more than anything else, it's still good early-'80s fun. "Shout" appears in both versions, the original and the "Rio mix." The original take is masterful, clearly demonstrating Depeche's future role as proto-techno/house/industrial godfathers, with the low synth crunch, echoing beat, and additional melodies hitting a perfect groove and killer chorus. The alternate mix pumps up the volume some -- including the newly prominent electric guitars -- and adds a new ending while keeping the same overall feeling and atmosphere.
New Life Review
by Ned Raggett