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Playing The Angel, Depeche Mode’s nineteenth album, is a well executed piece of gothic musicianship. Electronic rhythms play alongside deep, melancholy lyrics from the band’s front man David Gahan while unnerving guitar riffs create a sound of otherworldly beauty. The album resonates with dark subtexts and rings with the unique individuality that only Depeche Mode can provide.

The song ‘Precious’ has been the focus of radio stations across the country. The popular single is the lightest song on the album, Gahan’s voice floating through a driving beat and airy melody. The track uses sound effects that may once have been top notch, but have been replaced with better quality years ago. Somehow, though ancient sounding, the track has a kind of twinkle to it that separates it from the rest.

In contrast to the track ‘Precious’, ‘Damaged People’ is an anthem for the masses. Although yet un-played on local radio, the song is a focal point on the album. Depressed college students and angsty teenagers alike can appreciate the shadowy lyrics of this song. “When your lips touch mine and I lose control, I forget I’m old and dying.”

The last track on Playing The Angel is ‘The Darkest Star’. A quick beat, eerie vocals and electronic sounds dance around the powerful pounding of hair-raising piano chords. This track is the climactic finish to the album. The piano crashes through the song like waves on a moonlit beach, slamming against sharp, rocky rhythms. The song creates an epic feeling worth listening to.

Overall, Playing The Angel is an awesome album worthy of your fifteen dollars and the hours of restless nights you’ll lay awake listening to it. Depeche Mode has created another piece of incredible work and once again touches on the dark side of music. If your heart is black and your eyes are the empty windows to your tortured soul, then Playing The Angel will stay in your CD player for a long time. The songs are great and most of them are catchy enough to hum along to, so this album gets a big, black nail-polished thumbs-up.

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