Depeche Mode enters the 90’s! Violator is truly electronic in sound and represents a step forward for the style. Personally, I don’t know quite how to describe the sound, it’s not so much moody as bleak; it feels like the apocolypse may have happened but love and life carries on… I don’t know, let’s call it “futuristic for the 90’s”.
We start with World In My Eyes with its bouncing, buzzing, electronic bass; the sounds get synthier and synthier and that constant, steady percussion gives the impression of electronic dance music, it sort of is. I adore the chord sequence on the chorus; “That’s all there is” repeated with a sort of sinister synth string bass. Something about this album just catches my mind! I’m quite a fan of Depeche Mode, acknowledging that they aren’t exactly cutting edge but just damn likable for me.
The same sort of grand sinister feel takes over again in Sweetest Perfection, which, on the whole is a track that I could take or leave, (a tad formulaic) but then you get that grander orchestral style around the two minute mark with the original melody now warped in a new chord sequence that I think captivates really well.
Moving on, I’m not the biggest fan of Personal Jesus, and I know so many people love it. It has that bluesy guitar with the growl of the synth bass that is catchy enough and again the sort of mildly cowboy sci-fi sound that this album uses all the way through. It’s not my favourite but I see why people like it. I guess it’s just not a song that you can exactly sing along to.
On the other hand, this album does contain, I think, my favourite track of all time and that’s Enjoy The Silence. From the moment that up tempo beat starts and the midi choir hits join, I am captivated; let’s also not forget that nice clean guitar. Honestly I love everything, from the lyrics:
Words like violence, break the silence
Come crashing in, into my little world
Painful to me, pierce right through me
Can’t you understand? Oh my little girl
All I ever wanted
All I ever needed
Is here in my arms
Words are very unnecessary
They can only do harm
Oh so good… A lot of people call it generic but damn it if I just don’t love the vibe and that gorgeous bass over the chorus. For me it’s a special song, a song that just shows how much I love the people I’m with, when we’re together and it’s a such a treat.
The fact is, Depeche Mode just know how to right a catchy hook for me, listen to the chorus and that high guitar part in Policy of Truth. It’s just more of the same wonderful stuff.
I am not saying the album is flawless, it’s basic or formulaic in places and a little safe, I think. I think it’s strong, however, just due to that sound, the chord sequences and some real strong lyrics (not constantly great but a lot of the time solid). I do admit, I love this album!
Is this album for you?
It’s a bit sort of deep slightly camp 90’s club music. It’s not particularly heavy but it’s a bit “dance the night away”. For many it may even be showy, boring or down right weird. I really love it though and really think that folk should give a try, especially to World In My Eyes, or Enjoy The Silence.
- Writing: 8.5/10
- Performance: 7.5/10
- Style: 9/10