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Depeche Mode are an alternate dance/New Wave/Synthpop band formed in 1980 by Dave Gahan, Martin L. Gore, Andrew Fletcher and Vince Clark. Vince Clark left after their debut album, Speak And Spell was released and Martin took over with the song writing and Alan Wilder joined the band. The Q Magazine once stated they were "The best electronic band the world has even known" and the Sunday Telegraph once claimed they were the best band from Britain.
I first got into the band by being impressed with their song Dangerous. I was first exposed to them by one of their earlier songs, "I Just Can't Get Enough" when I heard it on the radio quite some time ago. I downloaded the album on Itunes at the 25th December 2007 and has never been out of my play-list since. If I recall correctly it was £7.99. It's much cheaper around other places such as Amazon where is £4.99. I will be reviewing the standard version that was released in 1990, but will also mention some other bonus tracks from the Collector's Edition released in 2006.
All of the tracks on this, their seventh album were written by Martin and most of the vocals were done by Dave. Martin is the lead singer in Sweetest Perfection and Blue Dress. The album was recorded from May to December on 1989 and released on the 19th of March 1990 under the label Mute. It was also released under the US labels, Sire and Reprise. The tracks were produced by the band themselves and Flood (a.k.a Mark Ellis). The album falls under the genre synthpop, but it also contains elements of dance, new wave and rock.
Violator is one of their most successful albums to date, and rightfully earned as well. I think all of their albums are great so I'm happy to see them get the success they deserve. In my opinion it's one of the most perfect albums I've ever listened to. The album bought the band into a whole new level of international fame selling over thirteen-million copies worldwide.
I think all the tracks stand out in their own way, but the tracks I find myself repeating are Dangerous, Sweetest Perfection and Personal Jesus. I never skip any of these tracks and I'm not quite sure which track is the weakest. For me they're all equally superb.
World In My Eyes 10/10
"Let me show you the world in my eyes."
Almost orgasmic to the ears. The album kicks up with some electronic beats and a mysterious rhythm. Dave's vocals are very soft and gentle on this and there are times where he gets rocky especially with the chorus. It has a very sensual chorus that adds a very soothing dramatic tone. I was easily hooked and entranced. I think it's one of those songs you can do a very raunchy dance or have sex too. A very thrilling track.
Sweetest Perfection 10/10
"The sweetest perfection of any kind."
Sweetest perfection of a song. It's a nice ballad with elements of grunge and it still maintains that synthpop and electric thrills. Martin and Dave's vocals sound similar as they both have a dark tone to their voices, but Martin has more a soothing tone, while Dave is a bit more rough. This song reminds me of drug abuse and I find the song very moving.
Personal Jesus- 10/10
"Reach out and touch me."
A catchy song. I had this as my ringtone at some point for it's catchy and distinctive tune.It's quite repetitive at times, but I didn't mind as it failed to get annoying. It's been sampled by Jamelia's song Beware Of The Dog and been covered by Johnny Cash and Marylin Manson.
Halo - 10/10
"Your lips are tragedy."
Mysterious, thrilling and exciting. The lyrics are really sublime on this and the chorus shows Dave holding some of the notes in a very convincing emotionally painful tone. It makes me think of an unsuccessful relationship.
Waiting For The Night 10/10
"I'm waiting for the night to call. I know that it can save us all."
Thrilling song. A very soothing ballad. If you liked Sweetest Perfection, I think you would like this song as well. Very down tempo and relaxing.
Enjoy The Silence 10/10
"Words are very unnecessary, they can only do harm."
One of their most successful and popular songs. I think it's a brilliant single choice and sales agree with me too. This song became their signature song and I think this song has the most fastest tempo but still has that relaxing and thought provoking tones. I enjoy the song. In 1991 it won a Brit Award for the best single.
Policy Of Truth 10/10
"Never again is what you swore the time before."
Reminds me of the Phoenix Wright series because the main character Phoenix Wright is always searching for the truth, being a lawyer. Because of that, I find the song very catchy and I love the guitar riffs and sharp lyrics to this.
Blue Dress - 10/10
"Put it on. Please don't question why."
The intrumental is calming and soothing. The deep vocals make it just as soothing. You feel like it's outta space. It's consistent and clean. A great chill out track. Does drag on a little bit but other than that it's fantastic.
Clean - 10/10
"The Cleanest I've been."
Moody and touching. It feels like you are in a sanctuary in a space ship. Amazing electronic uses that add the right amount of tension. The vocals are great. I like how none of them are yelling, they don't need to yell to prove their great vocals.
Also some bonus tracks from the 2006 Collector's edition. My favourite bonus track is dangerous, but the rest of them also have a very lovely romantic and dangerous feel to them.
Dangerous - 10/10
Memphisto - 10/10
Sibeling - 10/10
Kaleid - 10/10
Happiest Girl (Jack Mix) - 10/10
"Sea of Sin" (Tonal Mix) - 10/10
"An epic album with an epic cover, full of epic songs, epic vocals, epic songwriting, epic instrumentals, epic lyrics, epic vibe and epic members. It most certainly fails to disappoint and be guaranteed enjoyment. I don't know where to start, I've already stated in a nutshell it's a brilliant album and beautifully composed. The album art impresses me because it's simple and I love flowers. And it adds a mysterious vibe to it. Everything works together."
This is something that first thing that comes to mind when I describe this album. As you can tell from the first paragraph alone that I love this album. The original title of this review when I first wrote it on Ciao, I shamelessly declared that it was "The Greatest Album of All Time", I still believe it in some degrees. It's still refreshing, deep, meanginful and amazing after the 100th listen.
Martin's song writing is deep, dark and interesting. There is always a sense of darkness and lust blended together in his lyrics, even in his most happier songs. Dave's dark, deep sultry voice adds the perfect tone to the songs adding even more lust and darkness to the voice. The music has elements of trance and sound very modern and still sounds fresh today. The lyrics, vocals, and music together make them all emotionally powerful songs that have created a huge impact for me. That's why they have heavily influenced me and also others as well.
I've recommended this album to some of my friends, most of them found it a bit too dark for their liking but they did enjoy the track, "Enjoy The Silence". Some of my older friends who already heard of them really like this album along with the album Black Celebration.
It's a timeless album for me that I have and will recommend.
Violator is the 7th album by the English electronic group Depeche Mode (who at the time comprised of Andrew Fletcher on keyboards, Dave Gahan on lead vocals & guitar on "Interlude 2", Martin Gore on keyboards, guitar, bass guitar on "Clean" & backing vocals and Alan Wilder on programming, keyboards & drums on "Clean") and it was released by Mute on 19 March 1990.
This album was their 1st achieve the Top 10 on the Billboard 200 (reaching #7) staying on the chart for 74 weeks. In 2003, the album was ranked number 342 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. It is also included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.
None of these statistics should be shocking to those to who have already heard the album as in my opinion its one of if not the best album they ever made. It is THE definitive Depeche Mode sound as far as tunes and vocals go. I even remember buying it (for all of about 4 pounds) in Scorpion Records when I was stationed at High Wycombe and it being the soundtrack to many a night of relaxation.
All tracks written by Martin L. Gore, all lead vocals by Dave Gahan unless otherwise stated.
So whats on Violator then?
1. "World in My Eyes" - 4:26
This track was released as a single on September 17 1990 and was the 4th single for the album Violator. Its highest recorded position was in the Swiss Singles Chart where it reached #5. Basically its about one person wanting someone else to see the world how they see it. The imagary used is very surreal, the multitracked vocals from both Dave & Martin add to that feeling as well.
2. "Sweetest Perfection" - 4:43
I love the brushes & snares that provide a very quiet intro that lull you right into this track. The lyrics (as sung by Martin Gore for a change) are truly sublime about a rather involved passion, I do get the BDSM undertones of some of the lines as well.
Its Gores modern take on "Master & Servant" in my humble opinion. And those cellos are rather brilliant. Some of the drug references are rather unusual as well, I'm not sure if their a dig at Dave or not though.
3. "Personal Jesus" - 4:56
This track was released on August 29 1989 and was the 1st single off the album. Apparently the subject was was inspired by the book Elvis and Me by Priscilla Presley. Its highest recorded position was in the US Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart where it reached #3.
It was ranked number 368 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time & it is also on Q's 1001 Best Songs Ever. The Duane Eddy style guitar does rather reflect the early rock & roll roots of Elvis. For some reason every time I hear this I think the video for "Enjoy The Silence" goes with it. I have no idea why though.
You can't listen to this and not want to rock along with the kick ass drum & guitar lines, I do think its slightly too long though. The extra final minute seems to have been forced in my opinion.
4. "Halo" - 4:30
I love the rather weird "breathy" noises used on the intro to this, its another of the Modes surreal & bleak journeys. On this particular journey its dark and the protaganist is chained somewhere deep away from the world.
Very much symbolism of being lonely or apart from the one you love. "Though we may deserve it, it will be worth it" Couldn't agree more. I would say this is another one of those tunes where the final minute also seems forced. This could have also easily ended a lot sooner and been slightly better for it.
5. "Waiting for the Night" - 6:07
The electronic style of xylophone lulls you in almost to the point where you think this might be an instrumental but eventually the lyrics do kick in. The double tracked vocals work really well, there is almost nothing to this track but thats its beauty.
Its simple, uncomplicated and works very well because of that fact. Of course things seem less complex at night, you can sleep on any problem. "I know that it will save us all". Yes indeed. I hate to appear to be repeating myself but this too could have easily been over a minute shorter, the song doesn't greatly benefit from the "ah, ah" playout which really does drag itself out at over 30 seconds long.
6. "Enjoy the Silence" - 6:12
This track was released on February 5 1990 and was the 2nd single from the album. The song won the 1991 Brit Award for Best British Single. Its highest recored position was in the Danish Singles Chart where it reached #1. If you are going to know a modern Depeche Mode song then the chances are its going to be this.
If you are going to know the words to a Depeche Mode song likewise yet again the chances are very good that this will be the culprit. "Words are very unnecessary, they can only do harm" very Zen but very true also. I always thought Dave was pretending to be King Canute in the video but it turns out its based on a book called The Little Prince. We do get a bit of silence to enjoy and then this:-
"Interlude #2 - Crucified" - 1:52 (hidden song starting at 4:21)
To be honest I actually thought this was part of the previous tune, its rather weird in a haunting slightly scary way. The unintelligable vocal (provided by Andrew Fletcher) is bizarre but the guitar makes me feel this was a track that someone (for someone read Dave Gahan who provided the guitar line) started writing then ran out of ideas on.
7. "Policy of Truth" - 4:55
This track was released on May 7 1990 and was the 3rd single off the album. Its highest recorded position was in the US Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart where it reached #1. Probably my least favourite track on the album (because it reminds me too much of "Shopping" by The Pet Shop Boys which I hate but that was written 3 yrs before this) but the countryish feel also puts me off.
Its also too much like "Song 2" by Blur as well but it actually predates that track by 7 years. "Never again is what you swore the time before", the Zen lyric that is its only real redeeming feature in my opinion.
8. "Blue Dress" - 5:41
Escaping the rock guitars we return to a suitably synthesized landscape for one of my favourite tracks on the album, its got a lot of personal meaning to me which I wont be sharing with you (sorry). Obviously Martin knows a fair bit about fetishes in general and clothing fetishes specifically as the lyric "Just how easy it is to please me" speaks absolute volumes.
You could actually present the lyrics of this in any Sex Education class to explain any clothing fetish as they are totally self explanatory. Martin sang the lead vocals for this, you get the feeling Dave either didn't fancy the subject or didn't get the concept behind Martins lyrics.
"Interlude #3" - 1:23 (hidden song starting at 4:18)
Again another hidden track that I thought was part of the previous track, the clavinova synth with vocals on make a really great segue into the start of the next track.
9. "Clean" - 5:28
This is supposed to be about Dave getting off drugs to finally not kill himself and take control of his life from the many substances he used to abuse on a regular basis. I think Martin Gore was listening to "Fishing Junks At Sunset" (a tune Jean-Michel Jarre stole whilst in China & claimed he wrote) when he was writing the music for this.
I love the delivery of the line "Sometimes" with its excellent pause deliberately left after it to imply he has no idea what may come next. "I just know what I like with my own eyes", a link to "Blue Dress" there methinks? The whole undertone of these lyrics is very Shakespearean coming off like "Out, out damned spot!".
So is Violator any good? Yes. Its brilliant. Its sublime. Theres really only 1 iffy track (Policy Of Truth) but the rest of it is all gold. You can either read the lyrics and try to work out their meanings or just read your own meanings into them, its an album with songs that are open to many ways of being viewed but that are very good songs with great tunes.
This review took me over 3 months to write because Violator is so close to my own heart, I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to state my views on tracks that have such a personal meaning to me and have helped me through a certain period of my life. I can't recommend it highly enough, if you were only ever going to buy 1 Depeche Mode album make it this one. I promise you wont regret it.
(this review also appears on Ciao!)
Having written Music for the Masses and completed a massive world-wide tour, it was three years before Depeche Mode (DM) found the energy to put together their next studio effort. Having been spoiled by the relatively short gap between the watershed Black Celebration (1986) and Music for the Masses (1987) the wait seemed like veritable torture to their legion of fans - me included. Fortunately, they produced an album of craft and character that richly rewarded their devotees.
If the language I use seems to have faintly religious connotations, it's because with Violator, Depeche Mode arguably reached the height of their main stream popularity and cultivated a loyal following that has zealously stuck with them through thick and thin for the last twenty years.
Their most successful single from the album "Enjoy the Silence" even won "Best Single" at the 1991 Brit Awards - a level of success in the UK that the band had never achieved - and never would again.
Violator, DM's seventh studio album, was released in March 1990 and still remains the band's best-selling album worldwide. This is the penultimate album with Alan Wilder before he left the band, leaving Andrew Fletcher, David Gaham and Martin Gore as a trio after 1993's "Songs of Faith and Devotion".
The simple black album cover with it's distinctive single lacquered red rose sets the tone for the rest of the album - at times dark, gothic and raw, at others, orchestral, buouyant, and - atypical for DM - soaring with unbridled optimism.
The album spawned four singles - the controversial "Personal Jesus", the smash hit "Enjoy the Silence", "World in My Eyes" and "Policy of Truth". Ironically - in my view anyway - these were not the best songs on Violator, but such is the quality of the album that it's not hard to see why they did so well.
The album comes in two versions - the original 1990 release (a ridiculously cheap £3.28 on Amazon), and a 2006 Collector's Edition (a steal at £7.98 from the same e-tailer). The latter includes a bonus CD with the whole album repeated in DTS and Dolby Digital 5.1, a DVD documentary, and a number of extra tracks (all of which were B-sides to the album's singles releases). This review relates to the original 1990 version.
The album is best listened to as a whole. Songs often segue into each other with a brief musical interlude between them, and some of the nuance is lost if you dip in and out - kind of like watching the third act of an opera with no knowledge of what has gone on before. You can appreciate it artistically, but you won't have the context to provide an added layer of richness and depth to the experience. That said, I have chosen a few songs that offer a decent representation of the variety and scope of Violator and also happen to be my favourites.
> World in My Eyes
The album opens with DM promising to take "you on a trip around the world and back, and you won't have to move you just sit still". Although meant in an entirely different context, this is exactly what DM do for the listener with Violator. A positive, uplifting though seductive and sensual song - the "world" being explored in the lyrics of the song appears to be his partner's body.
"I'll take you to the highest mountain, to the depths of the deep blue sea, and you won't need a map believe me..."
> Personal Jesus
Released in 1989, almost six months before Violator, I was ambivalent about this song for a long time, dismissing it as an obvious parody of bible-thumping Christian televangelists ("lift up the receiver I'll make you a believer"). The song is much deeper than that, but I will leave you to draw your own conclusions as it means different things to different people.
However, I have had almost twenty years to get used to it and it has grown on me immensely. It has a very catchy, drum and guitar based sound which is quite different to DM's normally synth dominated style. It has since been covered by Marilyn Manson (quite decently if you like his sort of sound).
"Your own personal Jesus, someone to hear your prayers, someone who cares"
> Waiting for the Night
A brooding, atmospheric and evocative tour de force, with understated synths, accompanied superbly by Gahan's distinctive vocals and Gore's harmonising. I have often sat in the dark, headphones on, listening to this song and feeling hypnotised and totally relaxed by the heartbeat like backing track, letting it all wash over me.
"I'm waiting for the night to fall, when everything is bearable, and there in the still, all that you feel is tranquillity"
> Enjoy the Silence
The song, following Waiting for the Night, drags you quickly out of the introspective melancholy of its predecessor with almost gleeful abandon. An unbearably catchy song, this will be the one you've heard before but didn't know was DM. Upbeat, joyous and very danceable, this is one of my favourite tracks. Ironically. Martin Gore, the band's main songwriter had originally written the song with a ballad in mind, but fortunately, the band talked him round to a faster, boppier version. The rest is history.
"All I ever wanted, all I ever needed, is here in my arms. Words are very unnecessary, they can only do harm"
> Blue Dress
Every DM album has at least one song fronted by Martin Gore, whose distinctive, tremulous voice adds a slightly unearthly and dreamlike quality to this song. It starts with a warbling synth track before Gore's mellifluous, earnest vocals kick in. A lot of DM's songs have hidden meaning, but their ambiguity means that they can be interpreted in different ways. I don't know what Gore intended, but for me, it's about a man trying to tell a significant other that she looks perfect - and satisfies him - in the particular Blue Dress of the title.
"Put it on and stand before my eyes. Put it on, please don't question why. Can you believe something so simple, something so trivial, makes me a happy man?"
After the quiet contemplation and simplicity of Blue Dress, Clean starts like a tide slapping tentatively against the quay, before building and building into a deafening orchestral crescendo more akin to a tsunami. The song starts relatively quietly, but layers upon layer of nuance and instrumentation is added to it ever so subtly until, along with the lyrics you "twist and.. turn as [you] ride with the tide." Gahan pilots a way through the storm with an accomplished vocal performance. A satisfying, fulfilling finale that paradoxically leaves you wanting more. A lot more.
"I don't advise and I don't criticise, I just know what I like with my own eyes."
Without doubt, Violator is DM's most accomplished and polished effort, somehow finding a way to navigate the tricky waters between mainstream popularity and the demands of a discerning and loyal fan base. Violator is that rarest of beasts - a popular and critical success, that is not only a logical milestone in the bands development and evolution, but also manages to steer clear of committing the ultimate sacrilege - that of selling out.
Although fans point to Black Celebration as the band's watershed, this for me is undoubtedly the zenith of DM's artistic development. The album works magnificently as a coherent whole. The production is first rate and the tracks logically and thoughtfully placed. For every point there is a counterpoint. Like a hiker climbing a mountain, bursts of energy are tempered by moments of pause allowing you to reflect and take it all in.
Almost twenty years since its release, and Violator is still a musical and lyrical journey well worth embarking on - a quality recognised by Rolling Stone magazine, who ranked it amongst their 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. If you were to buy one album from the DM canon, this would have to be it.
FULL TRACK LISTING
World in My Eyes (4:26)
Sweetest Perfection (4:43)
Personal Jesus (4:56)
Waiting for the Night (6:07)
Enjoy the Silence (6:12)
Policy of Truth (4:55)
Blue Dress (5:41)
© Hishyeness 2009
Vince Clark deserves to be shot. For the don of cheesy-campo-synthpop was briefly in Depeche Mode and as expected, while Vince was present they produced cheesy-campo-synthpop. Unfortunately it was during this period that Depeche Mode released what will forever be there most well known song "Just Can't Get Enough" (At least most well known AND known as a Depeche Mode song). This is a great shame as Depeche Mode went on to far greater and better things after Vince left to form Yazoo and then Erasure (No comment - none needed really). They didn't do it straight away though, it was three years later that the band released Some Great Reward. By now the bands music had been turned into what could be described as 'NIN for kids'. Musically it was still fairly happy but elements of industrial were creeping in. If the video to Master and Servant is to believed, then the drum fills in the song are actually the band drilling things into walls, it will come as no surprise that this video should be watched if possible for it has extreme comedic potential (Think 80's hair cuts amongst other things). But the lyrics to Master and Servant dealt with domination and S&M. Following releases continued the trend towards darker lyrics and the music moved to match. However it was another 6 years (9 in total since the sole Vince Clark album) before Depeche Mode had honed their new sound to perfection on the 1990 release Violator. Violator is fairly dark, but mainly it's bleak. This is matched by the cover. A rose dipped in red wax (or something similar) set against a black background, not the greatest cover ever but it does fit the mood the album perfectly. But CD's aren't for looking at though, they are for listening to. * World in My Eyes * Superficially upbeat (Sort of at times anyway), synth drums play along with synths that bubble like a witches cauldron as the song begins its journey. A gentle pad backs
David Gahans stark baritone voice as it spooks its way into the song, singing lyrics that appear to be about sex. "I'll take you to the highest mountain, to the depths of the deepest sea/We won't need a map believe me/now let my body do the moving/and let my hands do the soothing/let me show you the world through my eyes". Backwards synths grind into the chorus as backing vocals from songwriter Martin Gore sweep through majestically in the background. The sense of build throughout the song and clever use of the two vocalists make for a superb start to the album. * The Sweetest Perfection * The Sweetest Perfection swaggers around like a film noir blues ballad (Played no doubt in an underground room full of cigarette smoke) that's been mauled into dark electronic music. Moody as hell, the bass grinds spaciously as Gahan (Or technically Martin Gore, who wrote the song) laments how love has similar effects on him to a drug. "The sweetest infection/of body and mind/sweetest injection/of any kind". Synths swirl around on and off, a few notes here, a few notes there, the main focus though is Gahan and the bass. A brief interlude is provided by some dramatic strings and a few raked guitar strums, perhaps it's a flashback to an earlier part of the film. Then it is back once again into the club, as the band swing back into the main theme of the song but with more forceful drums. As the song approaches the end it wonders out of the club and onto the street, maintaining the swagger but also gaining a building swirl of electronic early morning fog, into which Gahan walks as the screen fades to black. At least, that's what it would be like if this song were actually a scene from a film. * Personal Jesus * "Reach out and touch faith". First time I heard that line after downloading an MP3 of Personal Jesus (RIP Audiogalaxy, you and allmusic were my radio) I recognised it, but not as a De
peche Mode song - after all, they only do cheesy-campo-synthpop, right? Musically the song features a bouncing bluesy acoustic guitar riff that sits rather uncomfortably with the (Admittedly fairly bouncy) synthesisers. The guitar doesn't go throughout the song and at times the synths are left to bounce to themselves, including an effective bass powered vocal and guitar free section that leads into a slightly haunting reworking of themes found earlier in the song topped off with slide guitar. Lyrically it's a bizarre combination of Confession, 0898 chatlines and QVC. Also bizarre, is that while I didn't initially warm to this song, I knew that I would like it eventually. Certainly it sits on the CD better than the MP3, fitting in nicely, as well as contrasting with the songs around it. Anyway, eventually happened and I now like this song, including the bouncing guitar riff. Top stuff, it just takes some time to realise that. "Reach out and touch faith", there is probably a dance move to that bit but I don't know it. Anyway, prescribed dance moves are the forte of cheesy-campo-synthpop and I'll have nothing to do with them thank you. * Halo * Halo is rapidly making a case for entering the hallowed ground that is "the list of songs Mark really, really likes", it's also pulling the album along with it, probably thinking its going to drop it off on the way at "the list of albums that Mark really, really likes". Not that it requires much effort on the part of Halo, the album is quite capable of propelling itself to the appropriate list but when you've got a song as strong as Halo why not let it do some work? Electro toms (But several octaves lower than Gloria Gainor would approve of) and synthesised breathing noises give way to a moody base and a rasping synth who in turn shifts off to make room for of Gahans stylistically dark vocals with dashes of strings and the rasping synths. Then
a string chord floats out of nowhere and the song starts proper, with less synth sounding drums and stabs of low piano. Extra little bass bits and knocking noises are found floating around at opposite ends of the stereo canvas, spooking the song out for an incredible effect. It is however in the chorus that song does what you don't think it will do and gets better. The strings have a more defined and important role, as several layers of vocals add a dramatic passion to the lyrics "And when our worlds they fall apart/when the walls come tumbling in/though we may deserve it/it will be worth it". The bassline gurgles like acid, the synths rasp like an asthmatic in from the cold and the strings sweep with more power and emotion than a mere metaphor can manage to convey. This is electronic music at its darkest and most dramatic. How the hell could I have spent so long labouring under the impression that this band only produced cheesy-campo-synthpop! All those wasted years! Damn you Clark! * Waiting for the Night * Turning the mood down after Halo (Speaking personally two songs that intense next to each other on the CD would probably make me ill, although I am into music more than is probably healthy for me). Much more open sounding with more restrained synth voices, at times the synths even twinkle. The vocals though are fairly morbid and the lyrics could be interpreted as being about witnessing (Or perhaps trying not to) a sexual act. The song seems really short but I gaze over at the CD player as it finishes to see it's almost six minutes! A, relaxing song (I almost used the word nice there, but that wouldn't be right). * Enjoy the Silence * Bursting straight in with a whole stack of synths, a simple guitar riff and some trademark Gahan vocals, this is another track I instantly recognised but not, of course, as a Depeche Mode song - damn you Clark. Nothing complicated here, just great melodies and lyri
cs that make the song a love song. Yup, I said great lyrics that make the song a love song. Me, liking a love song, not finding it soppy. If that's not a hallmark of quality I don't know what is. Adding an extra bit onto the single version, there's just a short synthy (What else?) refrain to provide a break between this track and the next, neither of which have an intro to speak of, it makes the album sound more, well, more like an album and less like a compilation. * Policy of Truth * Another single, only for some reason I didn't recognise this. The song goes straight into one of the main melodies before oomphing up the drum sounds while keeping the pattern the same (But not as effectively as in the MP3 I downloaded of it, not sure why that is) after a sweeping burst of synth riffing. Mournful and introspective, like Enjoy the Silence there's nothing overly complicated here, just great melodies and lyrics. One exceptional part other than the sweeping synth riff, is where what sounds like the unhappy child of a guitar and a synth being tortured produces a rising scream as Gahan sings "Never again/is what you swore/the time before". Unfortunately this leads into the biggest stumble on the album. I think it's supposed to be a synthesised saxophone but it just sounds like a duck with a beak infection wondered through the studio while the band where recording and went "wa, wa. wa, wa .wa wa wa". It completely destroys the mood for the second or two it plays. I guess it seemed like a good idea at the time. However, the more you listen to this song the more you learn to automatically block out the annoying duck and accept it as the quality song it is. * Blue Dress * If Depeche Mode have one post Clark (Damn you!) failing, it's that they occasionally have a tendency to go soppy. I really don't want to say this, but if pushed I could be forced into grudgingly admitting that the
re is a vague similarity in the way that you are slightly reminded how there is a passing resemblance to the song by? No, I can't be pushed now it comes to the crunch - you'll have to work it out for yourself. Anyway, while it is soppy, ignoring the lyrics "Put it on/the one that I prefer/put it on/and stand before my eyes" it's musically similar to "Waiting for the Night". If I'm really in the mood for this album then I can happily sit and listen to this song (Indeed, on the day I bought it I spent about 4 hours with the album on loop while playing Transport Tycoon - that was an odd nights insomnia I can tell you) but it gets skipped fairly often. Although now I think of it, this is a band who have previously written songs about S&M - just what kind of dress is it I wonder. Ah well, until I see the dress I maintain my current stance regarding the song. It does however have a good ending, although as it doesn't remotely fit Blue Dress and yet segues nicely into the following song, I'll talk about it there. * Clean * If you can imagine the sounds of a late tropical night (Cicada's etc) and then assemble that on some synths, add a choir of David Gahans and some computers from the future of the 70's noises then you pretty much have it. A gentle breath from some synthesised choirs signals the start of Clean proper (And the track number 9 nine appearing on my hifi). A rapidly panning bass part that only plays ones note starts up, never to end. Synths rise, synths fall, Gahan really singing like he means it. If you're determined to have a track that ends the album, rather than being at the end of the album then that sounds like a good recipe for it to me. It could do more than just fade out for an ending though! The lyrics suggest it's a drugs related 'cold turkey' song, but I'm not so sure. Make your own minds up "As years go by/all the feelings inside/twist and they turn
as they ride with the tide/I don't advise and I don't criticise/I just know what I like with my own eyes/sometimes/clean/sometimes" So, to sum up. I HATE YOU VINCE CLARK! I should have bought this album long, long ago - I guess I'm lucky though, as I managed to download some tracks from Violator off Audiogalaxy before it in effect shut. How I'm supposed to go finding new music now I don't know (Well I do, but it's nowhere near as convenient, especially for obscure stuff). The RIAA just don't get it, ah well.
Before speaking about violator, I want to tell you I'm french. So, you will find many mistakes. Sorry. If I write on dooyooUK, it's because dooyooFR will be soon closed. As I love dooyoo, I'm here now. A shock between drug and darkness. It's de definition when can have about violator. After their world tour in 1988, the depeche mode seem to be near from the separation. But it wasn't finished ! They're coming back in 1990 with this fabulous album! As they usually do, we can ear a cold and dark music, but more dark than the others albums. Violator is really a great album of my favorite group. Dave (the voice) sink into drug. If you add alcool and divorce... you understand why we feel the darkness. For me, violator is one of the best depeceh mode's albums. But the best is 'songs of faith and devotion'. Many times, this albums refer to drug. Perhaps, martin (the one who writes all the songs) wanted to speak about david's life?? You'll find on this album: World in my eyes Sweetest perfection (sweetest injection of any kind..) Personnal jesus Halo Waiting for night Enjoy the silence Policy of truth Blue dress Clean (Is he really clean?) 9 titles i enjoy very much ! We can feel all the group's pains. But less than the pain you will feel in 'songs of faith and devotion'. The darkness are everywhere. Even on the sleeve. All is black. The only color we can see is a few red (a red rose). Inside only black. You will read the words of the songs (written in white) on black paper. The photos? Black and white. The maxi Cd (i'm not sure for 'maxi cd'. It's the name in france for the CD with a few tracks, often the same titles in different remixes). All the maxi cd from violator are interesting. In 'world in my eyes' you'll find 'sea of sin'. I wonder why this title wasn't
in the album? A very good one. And whith only 9 titles, the albums could have had one more title. On the others maxi cd you have 'dangerous' (personnal jesus), 'happiest girl' (world in my eyes) and 'kaleid' (policy of truth). I only tell you my favorite ones. You can find a 'violator limited remix edition'. A very good CD too. You must have 'violator'. If you read me regulary, you'll see I always tell the depeche mode's albums are very goods... but I can't tell the opposite. Thanks for reading me. Megateuf83. Please, if I have done mistakes in my english, tell me what is the mistake, and how I should write the word.
Depeche Mode, that depressing band…with the music that sounds all the same? Right? Well that’s what I used to think anyway. I shunned them for years, believing their only good song was ‘Enjoy the Silence’. Then my housemate played Violator really loudly one day. Instead of telling him to shut up as usual….I asked him if I could borrow it. I found that in fact, this band are maybe a little depressing, but that Dave Gahan has the most wonderful voice imaginable. Intrigued, I found out a bit more about the band. Depeche Mode formed over 20 years ago, under the original name of Composition of Sound. Consisting originally of Andy Fletcher, Martin Gore, Vince Clarke and David Gahan, they changed their name and sound, and were signed within a year to Mute Records. They released a number of albums before Violator hit the shops in 1990(it is considered by many to be their breakthrough album) . In America it went down a storm, and in this country the single ‘Enjoy the Silence’ has more or less become their trademark. Tough times followed this album and on several occasions the band nearly broke up, but they have continued to release several more albums, in fact, another one is due for release about now (the follow up to Ultra). If you want to know more about the band, then visit one of the many websites devoted to them, the best I have come across is at www.depeche-mode.com. ANYWAY. Back to Violator. A marvellous record from start to finish. It uses many synthesisers to great effect, with some cracking drum beats. It begins with ‘World in my Eyes’, 4 and a half minutes long, it is a great opening track. Sounding very electronic, but not in that tacky 80s way, it is backed by Gahan’s haunting vocals. Next is ‘Sweetest Perfection’, which fades in with a nice soothing drum beat. It becomes a bit more upbeat 2 and a half minutes in, with the rousing chorus ringing out. ‘Per
sonal Jesus’ is one of the big hits of the album. A cracking rhythm and guitar riff, to Gahan’s echoed vocals. ‘Halo’ is one of my personal favourites on this album, some excellent sounds, the synths are really effective. Gahans voice sends shivers down my spine every time I hear it. ‘Waiting for the Night’ is a much quieter track, calming, with some nice vocals leading out at the end. ‘Enjoy the Silence’ is probably a track everyone remembers. It is just amazing, the catchy guitar riff at the start, with the synths working overtime! “words are very unnecessary, they can only do harm”. At the end of this, there is a kind of interlude, before ‘Policy of Truth’, another very good song…with a good bass rhythm, although the synthesisers are not so noticeable. ‘Blue Dress’ is another track in which Gahan’s vocals are excellent. They certainly stand out more, as there is less happening around them, with quieter synths and a simple beat. The final track on the album, 'Clean', has a kicking beat. It is a song about drugs. There are some quite weird vocal effects in here, but it just adds to the atmosphere. This whole album creates an atmosphere. Have you ever listened to music which just absorbs you? This is music that WILL absorb you. It still sounds fresh, all this time on, and I’m sure people will be playing it for many years to come. The synthesisers are not crude, they sound really good. This is highly original stuff. The music is outstanding and the lyrics aren’t bad either. Its just a shame it doesn't go on more than 46 minutes! (for those interested in more than the music, the cover is nicely designed too.....). It was recommended to me, now I recommend it to you. I now have to go and listen to the other Depeche Mode albums, as I’m ashamed to say I haven’t really done that yet! I have heard some of Ultra, and thought
that it too was very good. If the rest are half as good as Violator, they are worth listening to. This band have made an impact on me!
When I saw this CD for sale last month I bought it as a piece of nostalgia, to remind me of my schooldays - I loved the album then but lost my tape when I went to college. Boy did I get a shock! I was expecting old fashioned, outdated music. What I got could have been recorded yesterday. It still sounds every bit as fresh and as contemporary as it did ten years ago. Sweetest Perfection and Personal Jesus speak to me as much now as then, Blue Dress and World in My Eyes are even better ten years on when I can really understand the lyrics. Why don't they make them like this any more? Intelligent music, great lyrics, fantastic tunes. What more can I say? BUY THIS CD!
Realeased in 1990, Violator caused a sensation in the states when a promotional record signing turned into a full scale riot. Probably their most successful album it's easy to see why. The album boasts a host of successful singles including Personal Jesus, Enjoy the silence and World in my eyes. Origional, exciting and very easy listening this album was probably the first album where DM mixed their own unique sound with orchestral instruments, especially strings. The result was nothing short of genius with no weak links at all. This is a collection of different moods and is probably their most varied album. There are tranquil songs such as Waiting for the night and Blue dress and fast, upbeat tracks such as Personal Jesus and Enjoy the silence. Should you happen to take a great liking to the singles they are worth buying with a large collection of remixes and additional tracks that are just as superb. Worth a listen are the b-sides Sea of sin (World in my eyes) and Dangerous (Personal Jesus). This is one of the last albums that Martin Gore put effort into almost every aspect from the writing to the remixing of the singles. A masterful album for seasoned and inexperienced Depeche Mode listeners. They have never quite managed to produce such a remarkable album since, dispite developing these new sounds to far higher levels.
Every time I here this album something strikes me as new and fresh. A fantastic album with quite a veriety of songs. An album from a group that was fresh when I was in University and has grown and grown. Thru all the hard years they have survived adn with all the personnal problems they are still going.I hope they can keep it going for many years to come and still be there when I collect my pension. Keep it up boys the fans are still there
10 years after DM first burst onto the music scene with the tinkly electro-pop number 'Just Can't Get Enough', their time had come to be acknowledged as a respected band. Ever since tinkerings like 'Stripped' and 'Never Let Me Down Again' on the two albums before, people could see that DM were turning into a serious band, and one to look out for on every consecutive album. 'Violator', without a doubt is the band's greatest record to date. Dark electro pop in the form of stark lyricism and danceable tunes; definitely a recipe for success. The album opens with the classic 'World In My Eyes', which you can tell, just from the first few secs is a classic, while songs like the mega selling 'Personal Jesus' and the ever popular 'Enjoy The Silence' further cement Martin Gore as one of the greatest songwriters of the 20th century, while Alan Wilder's engineering and Dave Gahan's vocal remain even more top notch. Elsewhere on the album we're treated to the almost surreal ambience of 'Waiting For The Night', and the album closes with the heroic sounding 'Clean'. This is a great album, apart from 'Blue Dress' which lets it down and the fact that the album doesn't seem to go on long enough. This is an album that should be in everyone's record collection, it's pure class!
Most bands have that one album that launches them to stardom. Usually it's the first or second but in Depeche Mode's case it took almost 10 years to get there. Here is the result - Violator. This has got to be one of the best albums ever made and it's certainly the best that Depeche Mode have made. On the album you will find some of their biggest hits to date including, World in my eyes, Personal jesus, Policy of truth and the incredibly strong and moving Enjoy the silence. The rest of the tracks on the album aren't shabby either, one of my personal favourites being Blue Dress. Violator is an incredible album and you should seriously consider buying it to see what you've been missing all these years. It's 10 years old this year, you wouldn't think so.
It's old enough to have been available on vinyl first time round but Depeche Mode have never managed to better the songs here, and some will surely find their way onto any “greatest hits” no matter how long the band last. Which has already been getting on for two decades, though that hasn't been long enough for them to escape their teeny-bopper electro-pop beginnings in the UK. In Europe and America they’re the kings of matt-black pervo-pop and *Violator* is a good guide to why, with all manner of dark desires and secret guilt swirling through the lyrics. Maybe Martin Gore was guilty about mixing synthesizers with guitar on on songs like “Personal Jesus”; whatever it was he’s one of the best songwriters we’ve got but he never has - and never will - get the recognition he deserves. Let's hope he can enjoy the silence.
I have had this album for a long time now as it was the first CD I ever bought. When I originaly purchased it, (about 10 years ago) I found it difficult to listen to but after playing it a couple of times it began to grow on me. This album marked for me, a change in the band’s direction from the electro-pop pretty boys of the early eighties towards a more introspective subject matter and darker instrumental style. It took Martin Gore a good eight years to develop the level of song writing displayed in this album – It contains three top ten U.K. hits, most notably “Enjoy The Silence” which reached No.6. I still listen to it on a regular basis and would recommend that “Violator” should take a place in any music lover’s collection.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 World In My Eyes
2 Sweetest Perfection
3 Personal Jesus
5 Waiting For The Night
6 Enjoy The Silence
7 Policy Of Truth
8 Blue Dress