Songs I Wish Everyone Knew: “When The Body Speaks” by Depeche Mode

Depeche Mode’s enviable career spans over 30 years and includes a range of hits from the fluffy bounce of “Just Can’t Get Enough” with that memorable synth-hook to the dark and bluesy “Personal Jesus” with that memorable guitar hook. In many ways they are the only surviving “synth-pop” band from the early-80s to actually still be sustaining a relevant worldwide career, but much of that is in part to how little you can actually call them a “synth-pop” band (and why I refuse to remove the quotation marks.) Their electro-rock sound has carried them into their fourth decade with a catalog that would make any group salivate, and while their incredible hits (the aforementioned tracks, “Enjoy The Silence,” “I Feel You,” “Never Let Me Down Again,” and so on and so forth) continue to move stadium crowds the world over, they have more hidden gems than they’ll ever be able to acknowledge, and one in particular is standing out for me right now. Lifted from their 2001 LP, Exciter, “When The Body Speaks” is one of their most beautiful moments to date. The track is particularly simple on the surface, focusing around a peaceful, arpeggiated guitar riff, simple drum loop, and orchestral nuances. The melody itself is absolutely striking and the lyrics are poignant but it’s Dave Gahan’s soft vocal delivery, in stark contrast to the booming baritone we’re used to from him, that drives them to an incredible place. Songwriter/guitarist/Renaissance man/genius Martin Gore really outdid himself when he crafted this track.


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