I was already familiar with Depeche Mode’s music. I discovered them after listening Marilyn Manson’s cover of Personal Jesus. Then, back again in the 00’s when Mike Shinoda from Linkin Park released a remix of Enjoy the Silence, which made me really interested in Depeche Mode’s sound. Not really caring about their albums but focusing on some major singles, I downloaded tracks such as “People are People,””Just Can’t Get Enough,””It’s No Good” and “Precious;” covering snippets from their extensive musical career unknowingly. So when I was given the album choice of Violator, I thought it would be easy. Honestly, I’m having a hard time digesting it.
It might be the annoying sound of some 80’s synthesizers (Even though the album was released in 1990) or the excessive use of loops…but some songs in Violator are just awfully simple and unappealing. I found myself skipping many tracks just because they didn’t attract me even after listening to the first couple of minutes. For example, “Sweetest Perfection” lacked energy and magnetism. “Halo” is horribly repetitive without any big and dramatic melodic changes; which drove me crazy. “Waiting for the night,” had an amazing beautiful melodic line but to be honest, it indeed left me waiting…for some type of excitement.
However, there are songs such as “World in My Eyes,” “Policy of Truth” and “Blue Dress,” whose intros are instantly charismatic and rescues the album from failing. These songs offer a little more musical substance with strong choruses. Also, the darkness and gloominess of some of the lyrics is captivating as well as the mysterious way of singing of Dave Gahan. (Or is it maybe that he’s English?) . I don’t include “Personal Jesus” or “Enjoy the Silence” because they are masterpieces on their own but I’ll definitely talk about them in next posts to come.
Finally, the album cover with its bloody red rose and the black background is memorable and it undeniably leads you to the different motifs of the album: love, sex, taboo, obsession, the loss of innocence, etc.
If I was to give an initial rating to the album, I will definitely be a 3 out 5 for the absorbing lyricism and vocals, plus the astonishing rock-pop-electro mix of some songs, which I believe were very innovative for the decade. The excessive dependability on repetitive loops (in some songs) was definitely a downside but I’ll see if I can get to like them!
Here, you can listen to the whole album, (in just one youtube video, which is pretty awesome too!)