Depeche Mode
Violator


5.0
classic

Review

by evilmenhavenosongs USER (2 Reviews)
January 16th, 2005 | 24 replies


Release Date: 1990 | Tracklist


Depeche Mode formed in 1980, starting as a purely dance/pop group but, as they grew, branched out into a darker tone and subject matter in their music. They have influences from electronic dance to the New Romantics to bands such as The Cure utilising synthesizers a great deal in their music behind David Gahan’s low, almost monotone vocals. They broke into the mainstream with Violator which was released in 1990 and is often seen as a high point in their career (although it is missing Blasphemous Rumors! )

World In My Eyes
There is a nice electronic beat beginning this song, it sounds rather disjointed but still regular and carries on throughout the song. Then the vocals come in, a nice monotone which makes a nice contrast to the upbeat background and interesting effects. The lack of emotion in Gahan’s voice actually helps with the emotion and the mini crescendo at the chorus is one of those lines that will get stuck in your head all day but you won’t mind at all. The song comes together as a whole well, one of the few songs with a fade at the end that I think adds to it, and is one of my favourites.
5/5

Sweetest perfection
The vocals come in almost immediately with a strange effect in the background which I’m not sure that I like but I do like the steady pulse of the drums. The lyrics are great, an amazing love song although it isn’t upbeat at all. The vocals are similar to the last song (indeed throughout the album) but the song is slower and more melancholy with more emotion in his voice. There’s a string interlude in the middle which he then begins to sing over for a while, this is a very beautiful part of the song but it soon returns to more like the beginning. I don’t like the way the song keeps stopping and starting between “sections" but it isn’t too distracting and the song isn’t long enough to get boring.
4.8/5

Personal Jesus
Now I couldn’t very well review this song without mentioning Manson could I? This version is infinitely more superior and I do believe that Mr. Manson has a taste for ruining great 80s electronic songs. This song is very different to the last two with a nice reverb effect on his voice and great guitar (I think it’s a guitar) work in the background. The vocals are haunting and the echo does sound especially good in the verse, Gahan manages to make the lyrics concerned with love contrast very well with his emotionless voice giving a great effect. The drums are especially effective at keeping a good beat and creating a good effect in this song and it’s another of my favourites.
4.5/5

Halo
The slightly ethnic beginning I like and then more effects are added one over the top of the other, the effect is rather creepy and is added to by the vocals which are amazing more than ever on this song. The layers and layers add a lot of atmosphere to the song and the beat is still held making it good to dance to as well. The lyrics are some of the best on the album although every song has great lyrics:

You wear guilt
Like shackles on your feet
Like a halo in reverse
I can feel
The discomfort in your seat
And in your head it's worse
There's a pain
A famine in your heart
An aching to be free
Can't you see
All love's luxuries
Are here for you and me

And when our worlds they fall apart
When the walls come tumbling in
Though we may deserve it
It will be worth it
Bring your chains
Your lips of tragedy
And fall into my arms
And when our worlds they fall apart
When the walls come tumbling in
Though we may deserve it
It will be worth it.


This is another slower song with a lot of emotion and is (yet again) another one my favourites. I’ll bet you’re sick of the positivity by now. ;)
5/5

Waiting for the night
Unfortunately there’s more positivity to come because this song is amazing, one of those songs that if you hear the title of it you can instantly hear it in your head because it’s so memorable. It has a real beauty about it and the effects definitely help in this as does Gahan’s voice which is, again, on top form. This is a very soft song with soft vocals, soft classical instruments (sounds like an oboe) and effects, rather romantic to me at least. The song is hopeful but at the same time not hopeful “he is looking forward to the night when everything will be alright but he is viewing the world through rose-tinted" glasses and deluding himself. The meaning behind it makes this song very emotional and sad, it’s also fairly long which adds to the drawn out effect. The ending with wailing mixed into and around the effects is very beautiful.
5/5

Enjoy the silence
This contrasts sharply to the previous song by starting off with a fairly fast beat, Gahan’s voice is yet again amazing, very lilting and sorrowful and the chorus really tugs at the heartstrings. Depeche Mode manage to make simple electronic effects very good at expressing emotion which is very impressive. There is quite a lot of repetition throughout the six minutes but the part which is repeated is beautiful and you won’t notice unless it’s wanting him to sing that part again. Partway through the more electronic effects are focused on less which sounds great and then they fade into few seconds of silence with Gahan saying “enjoy the silence" which is very atmospheric but can be slightly annoying when you’re wondering what happened to the music. The fade back in is also good, nice guitar work (I’m sure I’m getting all these instruments wrong, feel free to correct me) and a beautiful final fade out.
4.9/5

Policy of truth
Another fast start which I don’t like as much as the others for a reason I can’t put my finger on but I do like the guitar work which comes in. His voice is less suited for the faster songs I find and this one doesn’t grab your attention straight away, it does get better though and the rise and swell of the main hook I really like along with the chorus part which is very catchy with a good beat. I do really like this song but I feel it’s more of a “grower" than some of the others. The soaring ending with a guitar chord at the end I really like.
4.7/5

Blue dress
The Dr Who sounding effects at the start of this song are great with the pulsing beat underneath them and the soft vocals are beautiful although it is fairly difficult to hear the lyrics. There is a lilting quality yet again to this song and and some points the emotion makes his voice sound like it’s about to break from the strain which I really like. The spoken sentences fit well with the song and aren’t put there just “because" but to enhance the song. Yet again I really like this song especially the vocals as they’re the main focal point of the song pushing the effects to the background for the most part. This isn’t a song you begin singing if someone mentions the name but I really like it, it’s very relaxing and the layers create a great atmosphere. There is a very separate section to this song after a period of silence with what sounds more like an orchestra than electronica with nice chanting vocals over the top which is a great way to finish the song.
4.75/5

Clean
Last song then, very different vocals, more harsh and desperate sounding making this a bleak song with less layers but more emotion. There is quite a lot of repetition which can get annoying but does help the meaning of the song which is about looking back, a fitting subject for an album closer. There are deep backing vocals on the occasion which sound good and could have been used to greater effect I think. I do like this song, it’s quite a bit more depressing than the rest of the album and has amazing soaring effects in the background with heavy drums to finish off the song. This definitely leaves you wanting more and feeling let down, deflated (but in a good way.)
4.7/5

In conclusion, I think anyone who has something against electronica or dance should listen to this as it is a great eye-opener. The deadpan vocals and dark subject matter contrast well with the upbeat rhythms and there is a great sense of atmosphere throughout the entire album. It is definitely a grower and it won’t be long before you’re sing the songs all day but not getting bored of them. In my opinion, this is one of those seminal albums that everyone should own (besides it has a pretty picture on the front!).

Recommended songs: Any of them, they’re all amazing.


user ratings (885)
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4.4
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other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Dancin' Man
October 24th 2004


719 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I love this album. Before I had my CD player in my car, I listened to the cassette of this so many times it would make anyone sick. Clean is one of my favorites.

evilmenhavenosongs
October 24th 2004


31 Comments


I'm terrible for wearing out cds. If i had to pick a favourite, HAD to, it would probably be Waiting For The Night but I love them all.


Now, more people read my review. :mad:

Tapeworm
October 24th 2004


118 Comments


I really really really really really want this album.

Iai
Emeritus
October 24th 2004


3553 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Damnit, I wanted to review this! :upset:

Great review. Even better album. Classic, even.

ZEROthirtythree
October 24th 2004


234 Comments


Good album. Songs of Faith and Devotion is better though.

Faith No Doubt
November 14th 2004


4 Comments


Good album. Songs of Faith and Devotion is better though.


Agreed

morrissey
Moderator
April 1st 2005


1688 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Classic album, definitely. Personal favourite tracks are Personal Jesus, Enjoy the Silence, Policy of Truth, and Clean just for its bare honesty.

Depeche Mode are a fantastic band, they have alot of material which I have yet to hear, but this is arguably the highlight of their career.

4.8/5, almost essential for every music collection.

_unknownST
October 6th 2005


256 Comments


there is only one word to describe this album

AMAZIN'!!!!!!!!!!!!!

best track is without a doubt enjoy the silence

ocelot-05
November 30th 2005


807 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

There needs to be a new wave section for bands like New Order, Duran Duran, Depeche Mode, and many more. Great album. Personal Jesus is the best one.

Zmev
November 30th 2005


983 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Now I couldnt very well review this song without mentioning Manson could I?


Actually it would be a lot better that way, but your call chief.

morrissey
Moderator
November 30th 2005


1688 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Ocelot - none of the bands you mentioned are new wave. New Wave is poppier post-punk, stuff like Elvis Costello, Joe Jackson, the Police, and Blondie. It's mostly centered around the late 70s and didn't develop far into the 80s before synths overtook.

Still, I don't group the bands you mentioned together anyway. The only reason people do is a) they all feature the same instrument, so they must belong together... but remember that Buddy Holly, John McLaughlin and Opeth all use guitars but you wouldn't bloody well group them together, and b) people are idiots.

This Message Edited On 11.30.05

Sepstrup
January 16th 2006


1563 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

This album is fantastic, the average rating is much too low :P
Nice review.

morrissey
Moderator
January 16th 2006


1688 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Yeah this is a phenomenal album.

Zappa
January 16th 2006


355 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Smashing.

Dancin' Man
February 26th 2006


719 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

This album is a classic and should be regarded as such. I love it to the 100th power.

Jawaharal
July 12th 2006


1832 Comments


this is a wicked cool album.

LiveWire420
September 30th 2006


90 Comments


This is one of my favorite albums of all time.

stinkypoptart
September 30th 2006


1169 Comments


wow, a lotof people love this maybe i'll check it out.

sobelecta
September 30th 2006


38 Comments


I LOOOOOOOOVE this album. x

raid
November 2nd 2006


2 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

This album is incredible. I've heard many albums in my time but the songwriting really stands out here. It's just... perfect. You can listen to this CD over and over and it will take a long time to get tired of. Yes, it sounds a bit dated but I love synthesizers and I think it sounds cool.

The best song is definitely "Enjoy The Silence". My other favorite song is "Policy of Truth." I listened to a couple other DM albums after hearing this one but sadly, none measure up to Violator.This Message Edited On 11.03.06



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