Depeche Mode- questionable or not?

This is something that I’ve seen debated on a couple of Christian sites, mostly Protestant ones, with no real answer.

One of my favorite bands is Depeche Mode, as I’m a synths player and their use of the instrument is amazing.

However some religious friends of mine have pointed out some themes in DM songs which might be questionable. As well as the famous ‘Blasphemous Rumours’, there’s also other songs which have questionable themes, such as ‘Never Let Me Down Again’ and ‘I Want You Now’ (both believed to be about gay relationships), Personal Jesus (idolatry?), Suffer Well (about drugs, although it’s mostly focusing on the fact the lead singer quit drugs), Master and Servant (about BDSM practices) and others.

Some of these same friends also claim that I also shouldn’t listen to this band for the fact two band members are divorced and have in the past abused drugs and alcohol.

So, is listening to Depeche Mode such a questionable thing to do?

I think I liked them in the 80’s. :blush:

I don’t remember the words to the songs as much as the rhythm, it seemed to go well with the neon colors that people wore back then.

I don’t remember Depeche mode being considered inappropriate.

Is it a questionable thing to do? Yes, very much so, IN MY OPINION. Is it a sin? No. Music and other art forms are things you are just going to have to discern for yourself because the Church cannot give black and white guidelines.

Theologically correct answer: only if it presents an occasion of sin for you. Keep in mind you are talking about the band who gave Johnny Cash the song “Personal Jesus.”

I consider myself a devout Catholic and I should say actually the contrary to what your friends said about the songs.

Depeche mode songs often talks about sin, forgiveness, difficulties etc. For me most of their songs fits with my catholic beliefs… Enjoy the Silence, The sinner in me, precious, there are very good songs … of course Martin Gore (who writes most songs) seems to have a calmer live then Dave Gahan (who we know had some serious problems but seems to have reformed his ways in the past years).

For Personal Jesus (from Wiki) :

The song was inspired by the book Elvis and Me by Priscilla Presley. According to songwriter Martin Gore:

It’s a song about being a Jesus for somebody else, someone to give you hope and care. It’s about how Elvis was her man and her mentor and how often that happens in love relationships; how everybody’s heart is like a god in some way, and that’s not a very balanced view of someone, is it?[5]

Sounds pretty good to me. I hope this will help you make your decision …

To be honest, a lot of the songs I didn’t actually know the meanings of until I was told them by these friends. Or at least the meanings my friends interpreted the songs as having.

I really don’t subscribe to the notion of there having to be a “meaning” for a song. I think that’s a very passe notion. What ever happened to simply liking a song because you like it, without having to explain or justify it? I remember the Ace of Base song “All That She Wants,” and there would be people debating whether the “another baby” is an actual baby (infant) or another romantic interest. It never ends. And here it is again, with DM. I dunno. :shrug:

As GrandeChartreus correctly pointed out, you can bring meaning to any song you’d like. I like that DM’s “Enjoy The Silence” can be a Catholic-friendly song.

Some bands have very obvious song meanings, or the band members have stated some songs to have a particularly specific significance. But yeah, the whole idea of songs’ meanings is little more than guesswork and conjecture.

A Question of Time creeps me out. It should be Pedobear’s official song.

It is a little creepy I must admit…

It’s only a problem if you take the lyrics as anything more than a well turned out set of lyrics. If you listen and play them as a fan of the music, I see no problem.

Unless you are going to turn to blasphemy, become gay, start practicing BDSM, I think you’ll be okay listening or doing a cover. I assume you have the maturity to appreciate the art without being affected by the lyrics.

I happen to like adult alternative. :eek: I can appreciate the talent in a well written set of lyrics, written from the heart with all that “angst”, without feeling compelled to do something immodest.

So you’ll like OMD, Ultravox, Kraftwerk etc too!

I saw OMD at the Ally Pally in London back in the very early 80’s.

I don’t know if this is right but for me I’m running with my iPhone and pandora is playing various music for the type I choose and so some of the lyrics are pretty bad/questionable but the beat is perfect for the run. The song is fun so as best as I can I reprocess the meaning/intention of their lyrics and actually making more praise in a good way. But the ones that are over the top due ti swearing or vulgar…it doesn’t work so I skip passed them

The way I see it, people all have different opinions, different views on things and different interests, and this is no different for songwriters. I can certainly appreciate a well-written song without being influenced by the lyrics.

Haha I love any sort of 80s music.

Insteresting----thanks for the information.

I always thought it was about a phone sex operator, to be honest. Who would have thought. :yup::rotfl:

Good thread. LOL.

I am totally unfamiliar with Depeche Mode’s music and lyrical content. So I cannot offer you specific advice, but here are some general thoughts.

I would never rely on a protestant website critical of popular music to be my main source of interpretation of song lyrics. There’s a lot of conspiracy theorists out there who like to rip quotes completely out of context to make any music that rubs them the wrong way out to be “devil music.” Most of the authors of such sites have no concept of what is actually involved in artistic criticism.

And no thread on the appropriateness of popular music is complete without linking to Jimmy Akin’s wonderful article: Bad Music :slight_smile:

I have always maintained that the only groups who like Depeche Mode are women and gay men. My personal experience has seemed to validate this claim, although I do knnow a few straight guys who like DM, but they aren’t guys I really associate with on a personal level.

Same here…the only time I’ve ever heard Depeche Mode played in public is at the gay nightclubs (i.e. the clubs I go to).

I liked them before back in the 80s. I used to like their song, “Somebody”, and the girl who I used to like in college, I tried to play it for her by ear on a small musical keyboard that a classmate brought in class. She also liked me a lot at the time which made my memory of her so special.:slight_smile:

However DM has become somewhat dark, especially when I heard their song “Personal Jesus”. Sure, the song tells about “reach out and touch faith”, but when I saw their spaghetti western inspired music video, the message is different: the entire band went into a prostitution den in Mexico and implied they are having “a good time” over there. Enough said.

And that is also why I don’t listen to them anymore.:shrug:

Eeek… :rolleyes: :frowning:

Everyone seemed to be into them when I was in high school, I have memories of going to a party and they played “Condemnation” over and over and over…

I never really became more familiar with them until a few years ago.

I don’t mind them, I think I even have them listed as examples of music I like on my profile here as they fall into the category of other music I like… But I can’t say I’ve ever been a massive fan as such, I certainly had them on my iPod and would listen to the album Violator quite a bit. But hmmm I don’t know… there’s some songs I still really like such as “Enjoy the Silence” and “Halo”… I might skip the stuff like “Personal Jesus” as it feels weird to me to hear them use His name in that context. But as for the other stuff it’s like any other artist I might listen to; it’s like watching a movie, reading a book, looking at art, I don’t let it sway me.

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