Depeche Mode

Meaning of Love

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Possibly the band's last single that could be described as purely and totally "sprightly," despite the hunt for the title subject in the lyrics, "The Meaning of Love" is wonderfully ridiculous in its own way. Quick, pretty, and fun, its joy is in the rush of the music, which in its own way sounds like what a garage band interested in creating a quick hooky jam would do using synths and backing harmonies. Gahan hits some good singing highlights here and there, especially toward the end, while the secondary verses feature some fine vocal arrangements. The "Fairly Odd' mix is one of the band's more pedestrian reworkings, mostly splicing in some extra breaks and beats but every so often adding something more amusing, like a brief bit of studio chatter. As for the B-side, "Oberkorn (It's a Small Town)" takes a bow. An instrumental, it's a slow, atmospheric piece with a quiet elegance to it, thanks to the lead synth part and its slight retraction in the mix combined with the steady percussion pulse and soft chimes. The "Development" mix is as successful; while not a radical reworking, it extends the overall feeling of gentle mysteriousness and melancholy quite well, a good testament to Gore's musical abilities.

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