“Lift up the receiver… I’ll make you a believer” – one of the most instantly recognisable lines in a Depeche Mode song.
But the famous lyric from Personal Jesus has recently reappeared, in a context and genre about as far removed from Depeche as you can imagine.
UK-based MIA is a bundle of creativity, covering music, production, fashion and photography (she’s overseeing this year’s arty Meltdown Festival in London), with her roots originally in a curious fusion of hip hop and “world music”.
She came to mainstream attention when working with A H Rahman on the soundtrack for Danny Boyle’s film Slumdog Millionaire, fronting the hit song Paper Planes.
Not only is her music inventive but the live act is terrific (Glastonbury, a few years back, was a rather feisty affair).
Ahead of her curation duties for the Meltdown Festival, MIA has released a song straight to YouTube, called Goals.
MIA’s dark and extremely lo-fi rap features a slight variation on the Personal Jesus line (swapping a “lift” for a “pick”) as part of a hypnotic series of verses and choruses.
It’s essentially a love song, tinged with anger and venom. It’s a terrific and unusual type of track.
MIA has a habit of creating music that is strangely addictive, especially because her use of melodies and harmonies often do not conform to conventional standards.
Even the “video” for Goals is oddly compelling, in a very simple way, using a series of stop-motion shots from a gig.
Many Depeche Mode devotees, given the general reaction to countless reintepretations of material from their idols, are going to hate it.