Susan Boyle Covers Depeche Mode: Words are very unnecessary, they can only do harm
“Enjoy The Silence” is one of Depeche Modes’ most enduring songs. Lyrically it remains a personal favourite. Musically it is timeless, instantly recognisable, pure Depeche Mode.
Since its’ release in 1990 on the album Violator, “Enjoy The Silence” has become a Mode signature song, is regularly played live by the band, and has appeared in a wide range of versions, remixes and reworkings. It has also been covered extensively by a wide range of other artists. Even the original classic Anton Corbijn-directed music video for “Enjoy the Silence” which had lead singer Dave Gahan dressed as a stereotypical king wandering around the hillsides of the Scottish Highlands, the coast of Portugal and the Swiss Alps with a deck chair has had homage paid to it by Coldplay.
The fact of the matter is that the list of “ETS” cover artists is already a fairly lengthy one.
Now we have the questionable pleasure of adding yet another name to that list: one Susan Boyle.
Yes, that Susan Boyle. The sensation who came out of obscurity to earn acclaim and (deserved) fame on Britain’s Got Talent. She provides a stripped down, slowed down, breathy cover of the song on her forthcoming third album Someone to Watch Over Me. Rolling Stone magazine calls it “ethereal”.
“The melody of the song is just beautiful,” Boyle tells Rolling Stone, “but really that lyric sounds like it will touch so many people in the way it touched me.” Boyles’ new album will be out November 1st, but her version of the song has already been released on the internet. Take a listen:
Susan Boyle: Enjoy The Silence (Depeche Mode Cover)
And now, to provide fair comparison, here’s the original for you to be reminded of the songs’ strengths:
Depeche Mode: Enjoy The Silence
While there are definitely worse interpretations out there (and of other Depeche Mode songs – I cringe every time I hear the abomination that is the version of “Just Can’t Get Enough” than DSTv are using in one of their promos at the moment) I’m personally not convinced by this version at all. It’s slow, missing the musical spirit of the original, and just too ‘ethereal’ for my tastes.
And, while “words [may be] very unnecessary” in this case, I encourage you to share your thoughts on Susans’ efforts in the comments below.
(Full Disclosure: The author has been a devoted Depeche Mode fanboy for over 30 years. He dreams of being able to write words like Martin Gore someday. Less likely to be fulfilled is his other deep desire: to be able to dance like Dave Gahan does in his late 40s. This post was written wearing his Depeche Mode “People Are People” t-shirt.)