DM are back and better than ever, with their first single of 2005: Precious, off the album, Playing The Angel. This song is such a wonderful track that hearkens back to the much heavier electronic days of the bands twenty something career, covering one of the topics depeche mode do best, tragedies of the heart. Dave Gahan sounds better than ever as he croons, seduces, and hypnotizes his way into your hearts. Martin Gore provides some nice harmony and a very cool guitar riff to give the song a little bit of extra soul. Already popular in England, DM were asked to perform Precious at the Top of The Pops BBC TV show and to rather much acclaim (it's about time!)
This US CD release does not contain the Single Version (which is really just the Album version). Actually it's exactly the same as the much sought after 6 track UK Promo CD (PCDBONG35) with the Sasha Spooky Mix (Edit) being the standout cut. What a sweet mix. It's much faster and even catchier than the original version, with a great beat and some nice new additional sounds to give it a rather mystical quality. Beautifully done.
Sasha continues with the Gargantuan Vocal Mix (Edit) which goes in a more dark and somewhat industrial direction, with yet another great beat that keeps you hooked all the way. Dave's voice is echoed and electronically amplified a bit in this version, giving off a very otherworldly quality. There's a part in the mix where bits and pieces of Dave's voice are put together to create a rather manic yet hypnotically alluring string of consciousness. Two for Two for Sasha.
Michael Mayer gives us the Balearic Mix, a lighter version with Martin's great guitar riff used to great effect. Very nice rhythm on this one. The chorus is used only towards the end, over and over. Very nice.
The Full Vocal Mix does just that, concentrates on Dave's vocalization while surrounding them with some heavy laden electronic concepts and creations. Some of them sound like a few old school sounds from previous Dmode triumphs. Very catchy and very danceable.
The Crunch Mix & the Motor Remix are your more abstract types of mixes that don't focus on the vocals, except in certain snippets here and there, that tend to play over and over. The Motor Remix has a great urgency about it with a beat that really moves and grooves you. Depending on how much you enjoy these types of mixes will obviously determine if you'll like them or not. Both have great beats, no doubt about it.
In fact, as far as DM mixes go, these are some of the best I've heard that were all for one song. A lot of strong effort was put into these tracks. It's too bad we didn't get the Full versions of Sasha's Spooky & Gargantuan mixes, which would run a whole lot longer, instead of the Edited versions, as well as the additional song: Free, which was included as a B-side for the Precious single overseas. Even so, this is a very impressive single that should make a lot of fans and non-fans alike, happy. Check it out.