Depeche Mode / Violator [Digital Version]

Violator [digital version]

Depeche Mode (pronounced /dɛˈpɛʃ/, de-PESH) are an English electronic music band which formed in 1980, in Basildon, Essex. The group’s original line-up consisted of Dave Gahan (lead vocals), Martin Gore (keyboards, guitar, vocals, chief songwriter after 1981), Andrew Fletcher (keyboards) and Vince Clarke (keyboards, chief songwriter 1980–81). Vince Clarke left the band after the release of their 1981 debut album, Speak & Spell, and was replaced by Alan Wilder (keyboards, drums) with Gore taking over songwriting. Wilder left the band in 1995 and since then Gahan, Gore, and Fletcher have continued as a trio.

Depeche Mode have had forty-eight songs in the UK Singles Chart and #1 albums in UK, US and throughout Europe. According to EMI, Depeche Mode have sold over 100 million albums and singles worldwide,[1] making them the most successful electronic band in music history.[2][3] Q magazine calls Depeche Mode “The most popular electronic band the world has ever known”.

Violator is the seventh studio album by the English electronic group Depeche Mode, released by Mute Records on 19 March 1990. Preceded by the hit singles “Personal Jesus” and “Enjoy the Silence” (a Top 10 hit on both sides of the Atlantic), Violator propelled the band into international stardom. The album yielded two further hit singles, “Policy of Truth” and “World in My Eyes“. This album is the first of the band to achieve the Top 10 on the Billboard 200—reaching #7—and staying 74 weeks in the chart. It was supported by the World Violation Tour.

World In My Eyes—-Despite the slight pop edge to the beginning of the song, any fan is hyper-aware of the darker tones on this release that have led the band through their career. Gahan enters with his trademark baritone..providing an even darker edge to the song despite the underlying pop overtones. The lyrics are even in tone..relatable and understandable. This is a classic track…and a big hit for the band.

Sweetest Perfection—-Lush in synth arrangements and laden with a rather melancholy vocal, this is DP at their very best. I much prefer the more serious nature of this band…the poppy synth lines are nice as a change, but this is when the band seems most comfortable to me…wallowing in a deep and dark place that you find almost impossible to dig your way out of. This is brilliant!

Personal Jesus—-Although I own countless remixes and versions of this song, it has never been a favorite Depeche song…the synths are predictable and not that out of the norm. The sentiment is clear and for me that is admirable…otherwise I could take this or leave it…I would much rather hear a more somber and black clad Mode…but that is just me. Also, this was so overplayed that it really did become tiresome after a bit.

Halo—-This is absolute and delicious. The synth lines on this track are perfect…I could never ask for anything more spectacular. The vocal enters and finds Gahan with a bit of a higher tone and sounding literally devastated at times. This is in such contrast to how the synth line opens up that it could be nothing less than genius. This is a very favorite of mine…if only for the vocal alone.

Waiting For The Night—-Beginning dark and dense, the music literally swirls around your head. Gahan enters with almost a whispered vocal..adding to the deep tones of the song…the vocal harmonies on display are literally breathtaking…the synths brighten a bit but you never lose the low hum of depression that runs through the backdrop of this rather epic 6 minute song. This is an exercise in desolation and darkness…sometimes, you just need that kind of thing. Remarkable and Brilliant! [SIGH!]

Enjoy The Silence—-One of the cornerstone singles from this release that took Depeche Mode from the basements of angst ridden teenagers to the mainstream, this sounds fresh and vital today after an absence of ignorance. This along with Policy Of Truth were and remain career highpoints…just dark enough to keep the interest of long time fans and fresh enough to invite a legion of frat Dudes to the circle, this was game changing.

Policy Of Truth—-Truly a masterpiece of a song, the band delivered classic dark synth wave with remarkable vocals and a bit of a lesson all rolled into one epic 4 1/2 minute track…it’s no wonder the college kids went crazy for this song…this sort or betrayal takes place all over college campuses everyday…the lesson is as clear as the lyrics. This was indeed a remarkable moment caught in time. This is really nice to listen to after such a long absence.

Blue Dress—-This is still one of my favorite songs from this release. This is full of quirky styled synth lines and lots of little blips and beeps that fly through your headphones…despite the poppy feel, Gahan still delivers a suicide moment vocal that leaves your head hanging a bit lower than before. This is masterful and pure pop mastery. I could never ask for more from this band…i listen to this track regularly…all of these years on.

Clean—-Interesting that a song titled Clean can be so murky and dark in its delivery. And the simple fact that Gahan was anything but clean at the time. This is a telling track…a user in denial, a band on the verge of superstardom and terrified of it all. This is monumental…gahan reaches some vocal lows that are even astounding for him and the synth effects only add to the dank feel of the song…wonderful!!!

Dangerous—-The B-side to the 12″ version of Personal Jesus, this is rather different compared to most of the other stuff on this release. The sound effects and the synth manipulations give the song an odd feel. the heavy bass lets you know that this is DM and when Gahan enters with his remarkable voice the rest of the song hardly matters to me. The lyrics are introspective and self exploratory. This is incredible…I’m liking this much more these days than I used to.

Memphisto—-This is synth orchestration….if there is such a thing ever to be called such. I love the swirls and the atmosphere. Devoid of vocals, it seem unnecessary….the music provides all the words that are necessary to parlay the meaning of the song. This is beautiful, stark and lush all at the same time…just incredible.

Siebeling—-Piano based with a nice array of backdrop synth sounds, this is again a very lush and moody track that gets under your skin and stays in your brains membrane. Remarkably beautiful, a bit naked and telling of the true talent of this band, this is wonderful.

Kaleid—-Beginning with a synth line that reminds me of the opening strains of The Smiths How Soon Is Now, the bass kicks in and the song becomes a classic sounding Depeche mode track. The music is remarkable…the repetive synth line is so reminiscent of the aforementioned song that I keep backing it up to hear it. This is aggressive in nature…made for a dance floor and swirls in atmosphere and lights…surprisingly enough!! This is fantastic…I’m sure I have never heard this song before?

Happiest Girl—-Using tons of recycled beats, this song sounds like it could have come from any of the 80’s Depeche Mode releases. This has an element of simplicity and pop that is almost irresistable…you can’t get that bright shimmering synth line out of your head. This is a wonderful little song…even if it doesn’t particularly mean anything.

Sea Of Sin—-Welcome to my world….LMAO!!!! Gahan delivers a sexy vocal that is set to a shimmering and shiny synth line..overflowing with erotic overtones. this is classic stuff…irreplaceable in the landscape of pop music history. Every single moment of this track is pleasant…I could never ask for a better song full of innuendos and insinuation.

**** 3/4 out of 5


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