Depeche Mode

A Question of Lust

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One of the few Martin Gore-sung singles Depeche Mode have released, "A Question of Lust" is one of his trademark blends of up-front feeling and cynical emotional games -- a blend that shouldn't work, but so often does for him, to great effect. His passionate vocals, so often overlooked in favor of David Gahan's more straightforward approach, suit the slow, perversely tender sonic melange of the arrangement, reverbed percussion, stentorian piano lines, and an intermingled wash of other elements to create a power ballad to beat them all. When an extra synth part adds to the concluding chorus, it makes everything even more prettily beautiful. Perhaps unsurprisingly, given that it's much more a slow dance song than anything else, there's only one extra version of the song on the disc -- the "minimal" take. Removing most of the percussion and some of the overall texturing, pumping up Gore's singing, then sliding into an extended instrumental coda, it's pleasant but not much more than that. "Christmas Island," the second and final song that shares a Gore/Alan Wilder co-writing credit, is the sole original B-side -- portentous and gloom-ridden, it's attractively dour but fits more in with Wilder's solo work as Recoil than anything else. The stripped-down break mid-song that focuses in on the lighter percussion is its best part, while the extended mix that also appears provides more music without adding more to the song's overall appeal. There's a live version of "People Are People," recorded at a Swiss date in 1986, which appears as a precursor to the more widely known in-concert version from 101. It doesn't reveal much, since the basic overall arrangement and performance are the same. An instrumental version of Black Celebration's "It Doesn't Matter Two" fills out the disc.

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