Random non-make up interlude: Depeche Mode!For another short interlude from make up…
If you ask me who my favourite artiste is, I’ll say Lana del Rey for sure. If you ask my what my favourite band is, I’ll say Depeche Mode for sure. My friend suggested other 80s synth acts to me, like A Flock of Seagulls, and I know of the existence of New Order and Erasure and shit, but nothing sticks except Depeche Mode. I like their darkness and edginess, and their lyrics have quite some elegance and eloquence to them.
(Also their next album is coming out 2nd Q of this year!!!!!!!!!!!! Excites!!!!!!!!!!!!! Especially since the last one was a bit too bluesy for my taste. This one sounds a bit more synth in a loungey way.)
I really didn’t like the first album Speak & Spell, because that’s too New Wave/Erasure/happy poppy bullshit to me, ie stuff that I don’t care about. Thank god their albums after that only got better and better.
The Sun and the Rainfall
God, this is so fucking beautiful. My very favourite early Depeche Mode song. The synths are so atmospheric and haunting. Love the background melody. Lyrics are beautiful, and the imagery of the chaos of something smashing on the floor, and the titular sun and rainfall, fit in beautifully with the haunting synths. And who else uses ‘estrange’ in a song? All that I’m saying, the game’s not worth playing over and over again… 😀
My Secret Garden
Yet another track from A Broken Frame that wasn’t released as a single and never got a live performance beyond 1982. I thought this was beautiful, if a little unpolished. It has some very interesting beats and synths, and a catchy melody with rather interesting lyrics. Baby Martin did well!
Won’t talk too much about this song because I mentioned it as my 3rd favourite song of the whole Mode catalog. Still love it, such a soothing lullaby. I personally think it’s horrendously underrated. Nobody ever talks about it. I wish they would sing it more live.
When the Body Speaks
I always think this song is sung by Martin, because Dave rarely does all these slow ballads in such a high range. I think he sings beautifully and really shows off his range and his emotion here, and the haunting guitar pickings in the background makes it so… down to earth yet transcendental. I’ll be the first to admit I still have no fucking idea what this song is about, I only gather it’s about longing for a girl, I think? Still don’t know what the soul’s desires and what the flesh requires really mean. But a beautifully longing song nonetheless.
Stories of Old
I really like the sound of Some Great Reward as a whole. The hollow woodwind sounding thing that’s a feature of this song also appears in Lie to Me, another underrated track I like. I love the lyrics – it’s basically an anti-love song, very practical and non-soppy. Despite ‘being in heaven whenever we kiss’, they still ‘wouldn’t sacrifice anything at all to love’. And only Depeche Mode can make such unsentimental and unpoetic words sound so awesome. ‘Take a look at unselected cases/You’ll find love has been wrecked/By both sides compromising/Amounting to a disastrous effect.’ Like, is this a counselling session?
Also, check out the live and bluesy, non-synthy studio version from 2009. HOLY. COW. Quoting a Youtube commenter, ‘This is a perfect example of how a man can
fuck make love to you with his voice.’ [my own correction]
The Things You Said
My love for Dave Gahan and his voice of a baritone angel is clearly documented. Consequently, I don’t fancy Martin-sung songs very much. This is an exception. I think this song is absolutely haunting. I don’t care for the lyrics very much – it sounds very gossipy, but thankfully the melody and synths, especially the deep bassy one, make them sound much better than they really are. I think this song really speaks as a masterpiece of arrangement.
The titular song from their 5th album. I think it is a beautiful, ironic song about finding optimism in pessimism. And the comfort of a partner. Also about sex, probably. I can’t really pinpoint what’s so great about it, but it really sticks with you. Full of emotional range. The below version is from 2013 and shows how Dave Gahan is still a sexy beast 😛