Depeche Mode
Violator


5.0
classic

Review

by snydely USER (10 Reviews)
December 4th, 2013 | 10 replies | 868 views


Release Date: 1990 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The end of the synthpop era, and man, what a way to go out

7 of 7 thought this review was well written

Depeche Mode started out as a synthpop boy band in the early 80's, with a collection of quasi-cheesy singles like 'Just Can't Get Enough' catapulting them onto the New Wave scene. This light and poppy aesthetic differs greatly from the Depeche Mode that made the seminal album "Violator." Largely regarded as their greatest triumph, it is absolutely arresting. A cross between mainstream pop music and something sinister, it helped them to achieve worldwide popularity and success. All nine songs are creative tracks that stand on their own, and while they all share a similar brooding feel, they are each unique and addicting in their own respective rights.

Everyone knows 'Personal Jesus' and 'Enjoy the Silence.' The former's bluesy guitar chords and Dave Gahan's snaky baritone ("Reach out, touch faith") made it an instant hit and one that has been covered multiple times since its release (though it's best not to talk about most of those). The latter is an odd yet effective romantic/danceable mix with orchestral synths and a sinister guitar lead. They're two of my favorite songs of all time and are definitely album standouts. But many people, unfortunately, give the rest of the tracks the cold shoulder and don't focus on the melancholic beauty each of them have to offer. Just when you think the next song on the album can't possibly be yet another killer, you're proven wrong...and it's so much fun to listen to this album for the first time, without really knowing what you're in store for.

The subtle electronics are the perfect complement to Dave Gahan's vocals. He manages to be robotic and mechanical, while simultaneously sounding so compelling and humanly. Depeche Mode bounce back and forth from industrial to gothic without ever fully crossing the border into either genre, hence why it's become so popular amongst several groups of music fans. Credit must be given to Martin Gore, the principal songwriter and lyricist for the majority of Depeche Mode's discography, whose twisted mind has been able to create something gloomy yet beautiful at the same time.

"Violator" is everything synthpop should strive to be: dark, ambitious, and brilliant. Rarely is a pop album so creative and full of so much substance. Drawing on the synthesizer-tinged pop advances of the 80's but entirely shedding the production values of that decade in favor for a more modern, distinctly 90's sound, "Violator" drags the genre kicking and screaming into a new era of relevance. It's the twilight of an old age and the dawn of a new age.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Eloriaz
December 3rd 2013



687 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Nice review =)

Largely regarded as their greatest triumph


In terms of studio albums, I agree of course. It really redefined their sound and started a new era
for Depeche. Plus it's hugely influential. But as a band and on the whole, nothing tops 101 in
my opinion. It just happened at the right time in the right place with the right crowd on the right
performance.

Minus.
December 3rd 2013



2680 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

One of my personal favorites. Good review, pos'd

bloc
December 3rd 2013



34780 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

God mode

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Graveyard
December 3rd 2013



5706 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

a classic indeed

Digging: Total Control - Typical System

MadKungFu
December 3rd 2013



375 Comments


Great album, feel like the review could have been more descriptive. Good job though, pos. Sweetest Perfection is tits.

hogan900
Contributing Reviewer
December 4th 2013



1610 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This really that good? I haven't listened to it but I heard great things.

Eloriaz
December 4th 2013



687 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

@hogan: Yes! It's one of the most well-known and accessible synthpop albums out there. You have
probably heard Personal Jesus or Enjoy The Silence at some point without knowing it!

hogan900
Contributing Reviewer
December 4th 2013



1610 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I'll check it out then, album has a sick cover as well .

ksoflas
December 4th 2013



364 Comments


Nice job man.
A classic indeed.

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
December 4th 2013



15907 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

cant stand their early plinkypoppy stuff but they matured well

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