Glyph is worse than some and better than others. He believes that life is just one damned thing after another, that only pop music can save us now, and that mercy is the mark of a great man (but he's just all right). Nothing he writes here should be taken as an indication that he knows anything about anything.

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13 Responses

  1. aarondavid says:

    If I remember correctly, not just drug use but christianity? On Gores part I mean. We often jump towards the purile meaning and skip past the literal meaning in our quest to view what may seem tricky and dense on first glance. We want our rock starts to move in the circles of danger, a la drug use or sex, rather than singing about what we might find uncomfortable, such as trying to find thier place spiriturally in the world.Report

    • Glyph in reply to aarondavid says:

      I have never heard of Gore endorsing Christianity, and would be surprised to find it was so; while he has played with religious tropes in his songwriting quite a bit, it’s in some of the same ways that say Jason Pierce of Spiritualized does. If anything, Gore tends towards the blasphemous (rumors).

      I don’t want to start any blasphemous rumours
      But I think that God’s got a sick sense of humor and
      When I die, I expect to find Him laughing

      – “Blasphemous Rumours”


    • Glyph in reply to aarondavid says:

      So I’ve spent some time googling around, to see if I’d missed something, but I am not finding anything. You are right that they have used religious and spiritual motifs repeatedly, but in my reading these tend to be metaphors for more general concepts like guilt and redemption and human love. “Personal Jesus” isn’t actually about Jesus, and was inspired by Elvis & Priscilla. “Blasphemous Rumours”, which I quoted above, is a neat little pop song about the problem of evil (and which uses life-support sounds in its rhythm tracks) which appears to take a dim view of the idea that there is a God (or if there is, that He is good). “Walking In My Shoes” casts the narrator as an epic sinner who hilariously, unrepentantly defends his life of sin by telling us if we’d only seen the things he has seen, we’d understand why he had to do those things.

      And I have a hard time seeing the “he” in “Never Let Me Down Again” as Jesus or God, mainly because the usual Christian conception of Jesus or God is one of constant faithfulness; by definition, He can’t “let you down” even once, let alone again.Report

  2. Sam Wilkinson says:

    In 1999, I was a student intern at the local college newspaper. That was back in the glory days of getting boxes of CDs to review. It was a scrum whenever new stuff came in, but I had a weird schedule, often being there in the morning, and that meant I got first crack at things. Oh the howls of outrage that arose when I got Depeche Mode’s Greatest Hits triple album. I still have that thing, even though listening to CDs is an odd thing to do with none of the cool of listening to records.

    Anyway, I can’t speak to the meaning of lyrics, but I can say that I’m always a fan of some Depeche Mode appreciation. Those guys had the goods.Report

    • Glyph in reply to Sam Wilkinson says:

      I don’t know why I am surprised to find you are a DM fan, but I am.

      And yeah, they did have the goods (takin’ it to the sky!). Gahan really learned over time to use his voice to great effect (or Gore learned how best to write for it, or both).

      I myself was a fairly casual fan, up until I saw them in concert, on the Violator tour. A girl I liked wanted to go, so I went with her, skeptical that a band that (I presumed) stood motionless behind banks of synths and keys could really be a worthwhile thing to go see in a stadium.

      Boy, was I wrong. Absolutely one of the best shows I’ve ever seen, not just because Gahan was an expert frontman, working that crowd; but because getting thousands upon thousands of people to dance while they sing along is something most straight-up rock bands can’t manage.

      And the songs – holy cow, Martin Gore is absolutely one of the great pop songwriters of his generation; not just because the songs are catchy as hell, but because he was regularly tackling pretty big subjects for the genre (capitalism, religion, etc.), and doing it with his own slightly-warped perspective and sly humor.

      It didn’t work out with the girl – last I heard, she was living in the Bay Area, and as a male I would never have been her type – but my love for DM abides.Report

    • Glyph in reply to Sam Wilkinson says:

      On their concert prowess – I suspect they nicked this trick from U2, who at that time were in the habit of ending concerts with the big “40” crowd sing-along – but I can’t tell you how long the stadium I saw them at, continued singing this after the band walked offstage.

      Hearing that many voices around you raised in the same song is a pretty powerful thing:


      • Chris in reply to Glyph says:

        Man, I didn’t even have to click play and that song is stuck in my head, probably for the rest of the day.Report

        • Glyph in reply to Chris says:

          It’s kind of an elemental, child’s-lullaby-type melody, which makes it extra-sticky; which makes it even funnier that everyone is singing such cynical words.Report

          • Chris in reply to Glyph says:

            “Policy of Truth” as the same sort of elemental feel, and is equally impossible to vanquish from the brain. “Never again is what you swore the time before!” I can imagine it working with just rhythmic drums.Report

            • Glyph in reply to Chris says:

              Someone once pointed out that the intro of “Policy of Truth” musically sounds a lot like “I Heard It Through The Grapevine”, which is also lyrically thematically-appropriate – like it’s telling another side of the same story of a lie being exposed – and I now can’t help but sing “Grapevine” whenever “Policy” starts up.Report

  3. Glyph says:

    Synchronicity – this comic feels appropriate to the themes in “Stripped”.Report