The second single from Depeche Mode‘s slightly iffy album Delta Machine was the gospel-flavoured Soothe My Soul. An odd single choice from an album which perhaps wasn’t overflowing with options, it still performed respectably in the charts and got a good amount of airplay.
Depeche Mode don’t have the most amazing record with their single versions – they tend to take songs in a slightly different direction, which often seems to miss out everything which made the original good. Soothe My Soul, though, is an exception – I think the single version is actually better than the original. Apart from being shorter, it’s somehow punchier, and more concise, and works rather well. I’m still not convinced it’s the greatest track on the album, but it’s a fair take given the raw materials.
There’s no b-side this time – instead you get Gesaffelstein‘s remix of Goodbye. This is one of those remixes where it’s difficult to know exactly what the point is – it plods along entirely pleasantly, and the drums are at least interesting, but there’s a lot which is just lifted directly from the original, and the ending is particularly anticlimactic.
The remixes on the second disc are largely good, although your enjoyment of them will inevitably depend on how strong you think the lead track is. Personally I’m not entirely convinced, but even so, the majority of the mixes are enjoyable.
First up is Steve Angello and Jaques Lu Cont‘s version, which is a very contemporary mix that you could definitely envisage getting club play. It perhaps drags a little with its seven minute duration, but the slightly grimy bass part is enough to keep you awake if your mind starts to wander at any point.
Next comes Tom Furse, with perhaps the best of all the remixes. This version adds a sultry swing to the track as well as a whole load of synthesizers, making it a lot less grubby sounding than the original, which is no bad thing.
Billy F. Gibbons and Joe Hardy‘s remix seems a little unnecessary – for the most part they seem to have just added a bit of guitar noodling and a couple of vocal effects, and otherwise it’s not hugely different. I suppose there’s something for everyone here, if that’s what you’re looking for.
Then Joris Delacroix turns up with a slightly glam dance version. It works quite well, but it does drag a bit too at nearly seven minutes. Again, maybe if you’re keener on the original than I am, you might enjoy this more. The Black Asteroid remix is duller still – it just contains a lot of daft noises and never really seems to go anywhere.
Finally comes Gregor Tresher‘s Soothed remix, which is every bit as laid back as you might expect from the title. Gone are all the dark electronics and pretty much everything else except the vocal, to be replaced by sweeping pads and gentle chimes. It’s interesting and different, and therefore probably my second favourite version after Tom Furse‘s mix earlier.
So Soothe My Soul was an odd choice for second single, and although pleasant, I’m not sure it has a huge amount going for it. If you’re not a completist, you could probably skip this one and just stick with the album version.