It’s been four years (apparently Martin Gore thinks he’s Trent Reznor or Peter Gabriel now) since Depeche Mode released the rather lackluster Exciter but they’ve finally got a new record out, Playing The Angel! It’s not released for another two weeks, but it’s out there if you know where to look.
I actually didn’t mind the shitty traffic on the way to work today, as the extra half an hour spent sitting on I-71 gave me a chance to listen to most of the disc! I’ve only gotten through one listen, but it seems quite good so far. Better than Exciter for sure, better perhaps than Ultra. It’s no Violator, but that was DM’s masterpiece, and I don’t ever expect them to top that (or even come close again.)
Gore’s songwriting is in top form this time around, and David Gahan’s lyrics are as moody as ever. Witness the opening verse and chorus of A Pain That I’m Used To:
I’m not sure what I’m looking for any more
I just know that I’m harder to console
I don’t see who I’m trying to be instead of me
But the key is a question of control
Can you say what you’re trying to play anyway
I just pay while you’re breaking all the rules
All the signs that I find have been underlined
Devils thrive on the drive that is pure
All this running around, well it’s getting me down
Just give me a pain that I’m used to
I don’t need to believe all the dreams you can see
Just need to achieve something that rings true
Someone needs to tell David Gahan to stop reading my mind. That song in particular taps into where my head and heart have been lately, so get the fuck out of my head Dave. Oh yeah, and the second track is called John The Revelator. You’re scaring me Dave, stop it.