Songs Of Faith And Devotion Live

Depeche Mode

Sire, 1993

REVIEW BY: Vish Iyer


Songs Of Faith And Devotion Live serves no purpose, even as an album of alternate interpretations. A song-by-song live version of its studio counterpart, this is a record, even the direst of Depeche Mode fan would think twice before wanting to possess.

Apart from the bizarre concept behind this record, it is ironic that its dullness has got to do with the virtuosity of Depeche Mode as a fabulous live act. Each song that is on this record is crafted so perfectly that they are blatantly similar to the originals so that ultimately there is nothing new to be discovered here. So why bother with this album?my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Maybe here’s why. On Depeche Mode’s previous live record 101, the band’s vehement energy and cleverness in tweaking most of the numbers resulted in a great live record, which conjured up a whole new spin on the originals. And for fans of 101 thirsting for another live record, anything the band puts out that is live -- even if it means buying two records that are nearly identical -- is gravy; not that there aren’t things to rave about this record. Songs Of Faith And Devotion Live does boast of the brilliantly done extended versions of “In Your Room,” “Walking In My Shoes,” and “Higher Love.” Also, the sound is immaculate and even more polished than that of the originals.

Yet there are limited aspects to cherish about this record. Since the studio accompaniment itself was sans synthesizers and was played pretty much entirely on studio instruments, the band could do very little to improvise other than play the originals as they were to perfection, hence rendering it strictly academic.

Even though it is a little too perfect as a live record, if taken singularly, Songs Of Faith And Devotion Live is a striking album. But in association with its studio version, its charm is left vanquished, and it ultimately ends up being an object of desire only to the overindulgent fans.

Rating: B

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2009 Vish Iyer and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Sire, and is used for informational purposes only.