Review Summary: If you was a fan of DM once, but fell out of the loop, or a new fan looking for something a little different from what you hear on the radio, there has never been a greater time to proudly call yourself a Depeche Mode Fan.
Playing The Angel is the 11th studio album from the legendary electronic group hailing from the UK. Depeche mode where massive around the late 80's to early 90's and have scored major hits like "Enjoy The Silence" and "Personal Jesus." After the '93 album "Songs Of Faith And Devotion" the band lost one of the key members Alan Wilder and so to the bands mainstream success started to fade due in part to bands like Nirvana changing what people viewed as "alternative music." The singer Dave Gahan went through drug addiction and things where looking rather grim for the fans but in 1997 DM returned with Ultra and has been building back up to the perfection and with PTA they have got pretty damm close.
2001 DM released "Exciter" which to alot of critics and fans wasn't very exciting at all, many even calling it the bands worst effort yet. So when the band announced they were heading back to the studio in January of '05, fans looked on hoping that this will be the next classic we all know the band are still able to make.
I got this album the day it was released and from first spin, I knew that this cd was great, So great in fact I would still be listing to it almost everyday a year on. DM have returned to there past pulling electronic dance-y elements from the classic "Violator," the rock elements from "SOFAD" into a tight package that still manages to sound fresh. This is important, how many bands do you know that try to go back to there older styles from there hey-day or keep producing the same stuff only to find that they end up sounding more like a rip off band then the real deal?
Playing The Angel is also the dawning of a new age in DM, for the fist time in the bands 25 year run singer Dave Gahan adds 3 tracks to Martin Gore's 8. Dave's songs are great for someone who is just discovering their writing abilities also it has made Martin step up to the plate with the remaining songs showing that he is still one of the best modern song writers. The whole CD is fantastic to my ears but the standout tracks are Precious, A Pain That I'm Used To, Suffer Well and John The Revelator.
My only gripe with the CD is that DM seem to have made the album we all was expecting, one thing you can say about the last album "Exciter" is that it really was a curve ball and took more risks than this one. But at the end of the day you have a great new CD by one of the greatest band of all time. If you was a fan of DM once, but fell out of the loop, or a new fan looking for something a little different from what you hear on the radio, there has never been a greater time to proudly call yourself a Depeche Mode Fan.