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Playing the Angel by Depeche Mode

Playing the Angel by Depeche Mode, 2005, Reprise


PLAYING THE ANGEL
by Depeche Mode

Most of you who listen to Contemporary Christian probably aren't very familiar with the hard beating electro-pop group Depeche Mode. They're the ones that came out with that song "Personal Jesus" in the early 90s. Their new album "Playing the Angel" delivers fresh sounds that flirt with spirituality, but the album doesn't so much inspire you as become your friend, the fellow sinner.

What's most introspective are the lyrics. Even if the songwriter Dave Gahan isn't an Evangelical Christian he has had some sort of spiritual awakening to knock his drug habit and to overcome suicidal thoughts. The first track starts off with the lyrics "I'm not sure what I'm looking for anymore". There's deep things going and the instrumentation only helps further accentuate the mood. The whole album progresses into what could be described as not a conversion experience but inner thoughts on conversion, with topics like salvation, false prophets, sin, temptation, longsuffering, and religions. But, don't expect a Christian rock record. It's still secular music, not worship. The track "John the Revelator" boasts that "There is only one God through and through" then follows saying "I found treasure not where I thought, peace of mind can't be bought". The last lyrics to leave you with before you buy the album or download it are found in the song "Sinner in Me":

"If I could just hide,
The sinner inside,
And keep him denied,
How sweet life would be.
If I could be free,
From the sinner in me."

This album is sure to make you think and reach out, but not really "touch faith".

- Garrett Johnson


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