Being haunted by Depeche Mode…

…at this time, I don’t see that as a problem šŸ˜›
Hopefully it stays that way.

Among all the music I have on heavy rotation, one is the greatest hits album of Depeche Mode I got because I had to have two songs: “Enjoy the Silence” and “People are People”…
to say it’s surpassed my expectations is a gross understatement.
Found so many great songs to love on this album.

I don’t know how I came across it, but before getting my hands on this compilation I watched a video of’s top 10 Depeche Mode tracks.
Going in, I only knew those two songs and “Personal Jesus,” which played a few times on VH1 Classic’s 80’s block… I didn’t really get into it, but something about it did stick with me.
The only track from the countdown I retained was “Master and Servant,” just because the whole S&M thing is a very hot topic right now with “50 shades of grey” and whatnot.
To be honest, I watch so many random videos on YouTube on my favorite music, actors and so on that this particular video was the equivalent of me passing through.

Before this entry, I decided to rewatch the countdown to see how many I recognized and which ones I loved in addition to those two tracks… as it turns out, we have a few tracks in common.
I put *’s next to the ones among my personal favorites.

10. Master and Servant
9. It’s no good*
8. Strangelove*
7. Precious*
6. Personal Jesus
5. People are People*
4. Everything Counts*
3. Policy of Truth
2. Never Let me down again*
1. Enjoy the Silence*

Other tracks I like include:

*Shake the disease
*Walking in my shoes
*I feel you (which got an honorable mention on this countdown)

On my commute, I only have so much time to get through my albums… let alone a greatest hits album that runs for over an hour. In one direction, I usually only have 40 minutes for music, less in the morning because I like to listen to the local morning radio show for the first 15-20 minutes.
If I had time to get through the whole album, I would easily listen through all but maybe 2-3 of the 18 tracks.

One of those used to be “Everything Counts,” but after hearing it come on the 80’s station at my aunt’s and recognizing it as one of the tracks (I’d only gotten the album a week or so before).

I use the term “haunting” for this entry for a number of reasons. On the one hand, its staying power can be pretty strong, especially with my handful of favorite tracks. On the other hand, that’s how I’d describe their music.
Between the deep booming vocals and the eerie use of synthesizers in some tracks, I feel like Depeche Mode is a precursor for emo-culture.
I’m still learning a lot of the lyrics, but for me, it’s more about getting my share of ear candy, letting the music of the tunes and the vocals transport and move me. I enjoy pop music for catchy beats and singing along to catch lyrics… but every now and then, it’s nice to emote to the music and drift away with it.

While going with the “haunting” motif, the booming vocals on “It’s no good” and “walking in my shoes” are the biggest attraction.
Then again, I also find “Precious” to be spooky, but for different reasons.

I hailed’s decision to put “Enjoy the Silence” at the top spot on their list because it’s the song that drove me to get a greatest hits, as long as it was a part of it. Heard it on the radio and it stayed with me long after it was over. Getting all kinds of feels. I love the vocals, I love the layered synthesizers that sound like a barrage of voices. But most of all, I love how they have long instrumental breaks throughout to prove the point of their title. The last couple minutes never feel long enough so when I listen on my iPod, I sometimes like to scroll back to the -1:05 mark and listen through the music one last time… so cool.
It’s also one of a handful of songs where I feel I can let my own vocals roam free rather than sticking to the same key as the vocalists.

But when I first heard “Precious,” within the first few seconds, I knew this was something special. When I drive to it, my mouth is agape the entire time because I just can’t wrap my head around it. Deep down, it just stirs me up… usually for me, that means I’m sobbing or just plain crying, but in this case, it’s not that. Thankfully šŸ˜› that’d be awkward.
The 2 times I listened to it this week… it reminded me of someone, but I looked up the lyrics to see how much they really worked in that scheme of things.

The chorus in general feels almost like a response to “Enjoy the Silence”
– “I thought we’d manage with words unspoken”

but when I first heard “things get damaged, things get broken”… and just today I was taking into account that Plushenko and RDJ both became big parts of my life in face of a tragic event…
granted, there’s a huge difference between Robert dying in a movie and Plushenko’s possible career-ending injury, but in both cases, I’m trying very much not to think about how they became integrated in my thoughts.

On Plushenko, though, other than the beginning of the chorus, the only way he fits into the lyrics in my mind are in the second verse.

“Angels with silver wings
Shouldn’t know suffering
I wish I could take the pain for you
If God has a master plan
That only He understands
I hope it’s your eyes He’s seeing through”

Because while all this started with a heart-wrenching event, the resulting thoughts and prayers I started passing onto him carved the foundation of my being a fan of his. Nobody else is in my thoughts the same way he is because I want so much for him, whether it’s his happiness or getting back in shape or whatever else. I get pleasure from his skating, but I make it about him more than me.

On that note, I’m starting to contemplate a playlist for him, although most of the songs I have in mind are by one artist šŸ˜›

As for the rest of Depeche Mode… I really love their use of synthesizers. I felt like it’s their signature along with the haunting vocals. Some of it, I feel like I just can groove along to, like with “Shake the disease” and “Strangelove”.

Then there’s the other big standout.
I was playing through one of my video games to this album for my 2nd listen. I was still getting a feel for it. As it turns, it fit into the scheme of “Spyro the Dragon” really well. There came a point where I had to do something else, but wanted to finish the album… so glad that I did because I had “Never lets me down” coming up…

Yeah, it is kinda ironic that I praise Stewart Copeland scoring of that game series but I play other music on top of it. That’s only because video games is one of the best ways I have of listening to music, and also because I had played it for YEARS and know those songs quite while.
I couldn’t help wondering if the guys from Depeche Mode ever worked with Stewart Copeland because their use of synths on that song felt like they could work in that gaming universe… so cool.

If I were to do my top Depeche Mode songs, it’d be like this

1. Precious
2. Enjoy the Silence
3. Never Lets me down
4. People are people
5. Shake the diease
6. Strangelover
7. Walking in my shoes

and I’ll just stop there because those are the top right there…

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