Speak to Me
"Speak to Me" is the twelfth track on Memento Mori.
I heard you call my name
Lying, on the bathroom floor
No one here to blame
There's a message I know can be found
I'm listening, I hear you, your sound
Speak to me, in a language
That I can understand
Tell me, that you're listening
Give me some kind of plan
Give me something, you'd be my drug of choice
You lead me, I follow, your voice
I will disappoint you
I will let you down
I need to know
You're here with me
Turn it all around
I'd be grateful, I'd follow you around
I'm listening, I'm here now, I'm found
"Gahan struggled with the idea of making another Depeche Mode album, and says the song 'Speak To Me' was partially an imagined conversation he had with a 'larger force' about that question. 'Because I felt really torn between jumping into making another Depeche Mode record or, as I had been for the last couple of years for the first time in my life, home with friends and family and my animals. And just living a life and really enjoying that.'"1
If I wanted to describe to you exactly what the Memento Mori album cover sounded like to me, then I would point you to this track. If it were not for Dave's vocals here to give it hope and lift, then this would be a downright funeral dirge. It closes out with a long, abstract instrumental passage which immediately reminds me of the same device also used on songs like "I Want It All" and "Cover Me". I feel like Depeche Mode never uses this device without a specific purpose, so I'm always intrigued by it and feel the need to understand why. In this case, the phrase, "I'm listening, I'm here now, I'm found" being immediately followed up by the drawn-out synth noises almost conveys a sense of mild confusion, putting the listener (of the song, itself) in a state where they're trying to search for something in the noise, like...perhaps a response to the singer's appeals for a "message" or "plan." If so...trippy, man. (For the record, no, I'm not claiming that I actually hear any sort of message during that part of the song; I'm just projecting).
Now, here's another thing that I must bring up about this song. If not for the long instrumental at the end (which I feel like is more of a Martin Gore signature than anything else), I felt like I was listening to an Hourglass lost track. Lyrically, this has all of the earmarks of that classic, desperate search for a guiding figure that Dave's second solo album was known for (think "Kingdom", "Miracles", and "Insoluble"). Even instrumentally, it has that same spiritual-sounding atmosphere that the latter 2 mentioned tracks had. Now while this track had Hourglass themes written all over it, I also can't help but wonder if Dave was giving a slight nod to another solo album of his with the "lying on the bathroom floor" line (you know which one I'm talking about)! Either way, if there was any song that showcased Dave's songwriting in a nutshell, then this would be among the very top contenders.
There is no music video for this song.