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Playing the Angel
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
|1. A Pain That I'm Used To (Album Version)|
|2. John The Revelator (Album Version)|
|3. Suffer Well (Album Version)|
|4. The Sinner In Me (Album Version)|
|5. Precious (Album Version)|
|6. Macro (Album Version)|
|7. I Want It All (Album Version)|
|8. Nothing's Impossible (Album Version)|
|9. Introspectre (Album Version)|
|10. Damaged People (Album Version)|
|11. Lilian (Album Version)|
|12. The Darkest Star (Album Version)|
The first new album from Depeche Mode in four years, its first since 2001's gold and Top 10 Exciter, Playing the Angel is quintessential Depeche Mode-hi-tech electronic pop with enormous hooks-and yet faster paced, more urgent than recent albums. The band has sold upward of 50 million records worldwide during its 25 years, but Playing the Angel sounds as fresh and exciting as any in Depeche Mode's glorious history. Warner. 2005.
The blasphemous opinions surrounding Depeche Mode's 2001 release Exciter were well warranted. Exciter didn't supply Depeche Mode diehards much in the way of dance tunes, and the experimental sounds drummed up by Bjork producer Mark Bell strayed from the industrial standard in an overly delicate, less than welcoming way. True fans, luckily, forgive and forget and as well they should, given Playing the Angel's return to dark, brooding greatness. The first single "Precious" is an emotionally loaded, characteristically long faced, distortion-pocked masterwork - a "Personal Jesus" level accomplishment. Also on that order are "Suffer Well;" the droning, lovely and altogether danceable "Lillian"; "I Want it All," whose muffled beats and blasts of suck-you-in static recall the industrial glory days; and the simple, synthy exercise in hyper-intelligent pop that is "John the Revelator." Those songs make it easy to salute the band for parting the sea of imitators and returning to its roots, but an obvious stain prevents Playing the Angel from being a perfect album. Two tracks are the problem: Martin Gore may be a brilliant lyricist, he wrote every song on Playing the Angel, but pull David Gahan away from the mike and pretentiousness prevails. Some will find "Macrovision" lovely, but it's arguable that there's no room for trilling on a Depeche Mode disc. The same goes for "Damaged People," a dangerous, show-tune-ish flirtation. A couple of clunkers don't spoil the lot, though, and this return to form will alienate few. All hail the 80s. --Tammy La Gorce
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Top Customer Reviews
Last week I picked up PTA and I haven't stopped listening to it since. PTA has the darkness that old DM fans have always loved as well as the "pop" infectious sound of Violator. What makes this album truly remarkable is the off-tune sounds that seemingly work well. Also...after listening to all of the tracks you notice the sounds from many of their previous better albums, as well as some new ones. My personal favourites in order are:
1. I Want It All - This is a slower balad but it gives you shivers when you listen to the chorus, perfect use of echo effect.
2. Darkest Star - This song is darker, sounds like a track that could fit on the Black Celebration album. The sampling and guitar brings it forward though....nice job!
3. Suffer Well - This is really upbeat, sounds very Violator. Dave sounds incredible in the chorus with Martins backup and the keyboards.
4. Sinner in Me - Hello Songs of Faith and Devotion!
5. John the Revelator - A powerful song with great lyrics, this will be song by the fans at the concert.
I wasn't big on Martin's songs, they were to far away from the rest of the tracks. Lilian and is great too.
The other songs that didn't do it for me:
1. A Pain That I'm Used To - The melody is just not catchy, it's doesn't move enough.
2. Nothing's Impossible - Older Depeche Mode fans may like this, but it's very flat.
The latest effort from DM offers us some awesome songs... and some that are unfortunately less than ordinary. Great songs include the opening piece "A Pain That I'm Used To", "Suffer Well" (both future singles", the already well-known "Precious", "Sinner in Me" (a personnal favorite; strikes a chord) and the last track, the gloomy "Darkest Star". "Lilian" is groovy enough, would fit well on the album "Catching Up With DM". Other tracks are so-so, from the cringing voice of Martin Gore on "Macro" (what the???) to the useless fill-in "Introspectre".
Finally, there is a shameful lyrical/historical/theological blunder on the angry "John the Revelator" : 'By claiming God As his only right He's stealing a god From the Israelites Stealing a god From a Muslim, too There is only one god through and through'. That's just stupid writing, Martin. John the Revelator (one of the Apostles btw) didn't steal a god from the Isralelite : he was one!... and he didn't steal from the Muslim... they weren't around until the 7th century... As for one God through and through, the Revelator did say it loud and clear.
Thematically, it's similar to SOFAD with a mixture of religious and secular themes, largely focusing on dismal themes. The line "Pain and Suffering in Various Tempos" on the back of the CD describes it quite well. It is probably the darkest of the DM CDs.
Musically, it tends to favor the more dissonant style of DM songs. If you liked, "I Feel You", "Barrel of a Gun" and "Useless" you'll probably enjoy this CD. With the exception of "Precious", by far the strongest track, there really isn't a song that has a strong melody. This is really my biggest complaint with Playing the Angel. Most of the tracks, in particular those penned by Gahan, rely on the base line to carry the song, unfortunately this applies to the ballads as well, which don't match other DM ballads like "Judas", "Home" or "Question of Lust". The more up tempo tracks, like "A Pain that I'm Used to", "John the Revelator" and "Suffer Well" are pretty solid, and with the exception of "Damaged People", which sounds alot like a song from Jesus Christ Superstar, and the instrumental "Introspectre" there aren't any real misses.
This is a CD that sounds better the more times you listen to it, so you should probably bear that in mind and try to hear the songs a couple of times before making a decision about it.
Most recent customer reviews
Depeche Mode is a kind of hidden gem in today's music factory scene. Every sound has its own atmosphere and distinct feel to it. Read morePublished 20 months ago by TomEnigma
Depeche Mode still does for me today what they did back in the 90's. They invoke all kinds of perceptions and emotions that make their craft truly exceptional.Published 22 months ago by Luis M Pontes
This is Pretty Good, if you were holding your breath to see if Dm would arrive again -Snag it! I liked John the Revelator, I want it all, suffer well(Real good! Read morePublished on Sept. 5 2011 by marketminutdave
I am Depeche Mode fan since early 80's, I have all their albums and many singles remix. I found this is the best DM album since Alan Wilder's departure. Read morePublished on Feb. 5 2006 by Trader138
Invest some time with this album, it's worth it. I have loved almost everything DM have done over their 25 years. Read morePublished on Feb. 4 2006 by S. Rowe
If this was an EP, it would have been ONE of their best.
This CD starts off extremely strong... very reminiscent of early Depeche Mode. Read more
Playing the Angel is as brilliant as it is dark. An absolutely fantastic album that will grow on you after time whether you've been a fan since '81, or you are just getting to... Read morePublished on Nov. 17 2005 by dave
Every song on this album is Depeche Mode, every song including the two (Macro & Damaged People) sung by Gore are Good, Bass is beautiful, and the more you listen to... Read morePublished on Nov. 8 2005 by ADRIAN D'AGOSTINO
After Exciter it seemed as though Depeche Mode would forever part from the dark New Wave oriented music that made them great but Playing The Angel puts that notion to rest very... Read morePublished on Nov. 2 2005 by Marcel Eichmann