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5.0 out of 5 stars Synth-Pop At Its Finest (4.5 Stars)
Depeche Mode has always been considered a unique band by this reviewer although admittedly I had never purchased a Depeche Mode album until very recently. ''Violator'' hasn't left my CD player since I bought it. Yes it's that good. Like most listeners, I suspect, I hadn't heard of The Mode until ''Enjoy My Silence'' hit the airwaves around 1990. Despite having released...
Published on April 12 2004 by MJ

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Remote romance
Compared with such influential albums as "Some great reward", DM's commercial breakthrough is a mostly tedious affair. The band doesn't do anything to develop their '80s sound, and "Violator" just can't compare with the variety of styles and moods of its predecessor "Music for the masses". Even worse, Martin seems to have lost his...
Published on May 18 2000 by Chris Turk, lightbulb_sun@yahoo.de


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5.0 out of 5 stars Synth-Pop At Its Finest (4.5 Stars), April 12 2004
By 
This review is from: Violator (Audio CD)
Depeche Mode has always been considered a unique band by this reviewer although admittedly I had never purchased a Depeche Mode album until very recently. ''Violator'' hasn't left my CD player since I bought it. Yes it's that good. Like most listeners, I suspect, I hadn't heard of The Mode until ''Enjoy My Silence'' hit the airwaves around 1990. Despite having released other superb records (I bought ''Music For The Masses the other day), ''Violator'' is still considered their best album by many. I still feel the need to explore more of their work before I can testament to that. Nearly 14 years after the release of ''Violator'', Depeche Mode is still regarded as one of the most creative and interesting bands of the last two decades or so and they are known for their brilliantly concert tours as well.
So why is ''Violator'' regarded as an classic album by so many music listeners? ''World In My Eyes'', ''Sweetest Perfection'', ''Personal Jesus'', ''Enjoy The Silence'', ''Policy Of Truth'' and ''Clean'' are simply great synth-pop with great hooks and ambiguous lyrics. Those offering are what makes ''Violator'' an essential buy for all music enjoyers.
My favourites:
''World In My Eyes'' is a mood-setter for the album, almost introducing the listener to a journey into the Mode's world. Its dark tone, yet danceable beat makes you wonder what you will be listening too for the next 45 minutes or so. Up next, ''The Sweetest Perfection'' starts off sounding very fervently, yet it develops into a melancholic slow-burner. I really enjoy the dreamy vibe they managed to inject into the music, making the listener almost feel ''The Sweetest Perfection''. ''Personal Jesus'' remains one of my favourite songs of all time. Despite having heard it numerous times, I still enjoy the stamping gem. ''Enjoy The Silence'' is an upbeat ballad with an amazing guitar rife . Dave Gahan's voice with its haunting and warm quality blends perfectly with the dreamy melody. Who can anybody not like this tune? It's possible one of the most recognised and most loved songs ever. ''Policy Of Truth'' was an instant favourite of mine and I think it's among the three best tracks on the album. Its catchy and great hook will have the listener waiting more. ''Clean'' is an haunting ballad with a dark sound attached to it and Dave Gahan sings it wonderfully.
''Violator'' consists of nine superb tracks with great melodies and thought-provoking lyrics. In all honesty there are no fillers on the album at all, which is quite rare these days. Perhaps that explains its ''classic status''. ''Violator'' is an album for everybody who enjoys brilliantly synth/pop combined with lovely melodies and enjoyable hooks. It's an essential purchase for any music lover.
Overall Grade: 9.5/10
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5.0 out of 5 stars Let Me Take You on a Trip..., Jan. 19 2004
By 
Erik Russell Olson (Dublin, CA, United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Violator (Audio CD)
In the latter half of the eighties, Depeche Mode were truly finding their voice, and the "For the Masses" tour (culminating with the Rose Bowl show which would become 101) showed that a lot of people were listening. However, although DM had a strong underground following, they had not yet had anything resembling a chart-busting album.
Violator changed all of that. Everyone and his godmother has heard "Personal Jesus" or "Enjoy the Silence" by now, songs that very quickly became iconic for the band. Even people who don't like the "Depressed Mods" will admit to an affinity for that infectiously twangy guitar riff in "Personal Jesus." Like REM's Out of Time, The Cure's Disintegration, or Metallica's Black album, Violator at once brought DM to the mainstream and became the band's definitive work.
It's easy to categorize Violator as a "dance" album, particularly since several of the songs are carried by faster beats than would be typical of Music for the Masses or Black Celebration. "World in My Eyes" is a particularly entrancing, arousing experience, perfect for getting close to someone. But to write off Violator as a sell-out "dance" album really does not do justice to these nine rich, dark, sinfully addictive tracks. The radio-friendly stuff is even better here since the album mixes are longer and more nuanced; check out the extended groove at the end of "Personal Jesus," for example, or the quiet, nightmarish interlude that follows "Enjoy the Silence." (The distorted word is "crucified," for those who care.)
More importantly, though, the tracks that did not become singles are just as strong as what you've heard on the radio. "Clean" and "Sweetest Perfection" both draw attention to the perils of drug addiction, and each brings its own narcotic rush to the listener. "Halo" and "Policy of Truth" study infidelity from different angles, neither of which is particularly optimistic. "Waiting for the Night" creates probably the most intense atmosphere of any Depeche Mode song ever written. Turn the lights off and the sound up on a moonlit night and let yourself drift into these six eerie minutes of oblivion. And as with "A Question of Lust" on Black Celebration, "Blue Dress" provides Martin Gore's vulnerable counterweight to Dave Gahan's lusty baritone.
Violator finds Depeche Mode at the peak of their career and the zenith of their creative abilities (the image of King Dave on a lonely mountaintop in the "Enjoy The Silence" video is very fitting). They did not make a better album before or since, and it's doubtful that they ever will. More cohesive than Music for the Masses and better executed than Black Celebration or Songs of Faith and Devotion, Violator is one of the few truly flawless albums I can think of. Five stars are simply not enough for Depeche Mode's magnum opus.
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5.0 out of 5 stars an entrance into depeche mode's dark period, Jan. 18 2004
By 
M. Tefer "matt" (MN, United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Violator (Audio CD)
While not a far departure from it's predacessor, Violator was a breath of fresh air for late 80's depeche mode fans. The songwriting is somewhat poetic and contains plenty of love obsessed, yet pop-rock friendly songwriting. Singer David Gahan and lyricist Martin Gore guide you on this dark exploration (almost as if you are walking on the moon, completely isolated with them) as the music flows non-indulgently through the entire album.
Disregarding the idea that this is mostly synth-pop, depeche mode can keep some driving beats when necessary. With Violator, there is a sudden and abrupt feel of caution since a sense of romanticized sin has already infected the listener.
There are some standouts, such as the phone sex of the funky "Personal Jesus"
The love / hate aspects of the jazzy "Policy of Truth" sound cool as the overshadowed guitar approaches more audibly by the end of the song.
"Enjoy the Silence," is probably my favorite on the album which builds into beats that give it a driving effort till the silence breaks.
"World in my Eyes" is a great opener that you can use your imagination with.
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5.0 out of 5 stars What's been violated?, Nov. 11 2003
By 
This review is from: Violator (Audio CD)
There's a certain, special word that can be used for the best recordings ever... and that is "perfect", and Violator, to my surprise, ended up being just that. Are you a dancer? A rocker? A poet? ... All of the above? Don't worry, this album does well for all three!

"World in My Eyes" sets a dark, deep and passionate mood, almost like Dark Side of the Moon (without freaking the listener out)... meanwhile, "Personal Jesus" is a catchy-yet-chilling tune about questioning one's religion. While certainly not an anti-Christian song, it encourages questioning one's beliefs, and not blindly throwing oneself into faith. Meanwhile, "Halo" and "Waiting for the Night" continue the feeling set by "World in My Eyes". Of course, all the tracks on the album could be mentioned as highlights... but that'd take away the point, wouldn't it?

Despite only having 9 tracks, Violator is just about flawless, and perhaps the best album of 1990... and one of the best of the 90s. Dance, rock... and think, think, think.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The best DM CD ever & one of my top five releases ever!, Oct. 23 2003
By 
S. Benson "Neve2004" (Planet Earth) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Violator (Audio CD)
This is to me without a doubt the best Depeche Mode CD ever made. I would give every song but one a five star rating (I would have to give "Personal Jesus" a 3), this CD stirs up a lot of emotion and wonderful memories for me.
I was always so amazed that Violator got so much notice in the main stream, which I don't think is a bad thing at all, I was just shocked that it got its due recognition.
My personal three favorite songs happen to be the ones that were never huge on the radio or in the clubs, "Clean", "Halo" and "Sweetest Perfection". The huge hit of Violator just happens to be my least favorite track as I stated earlier (Personal Jesus), but as a goth/industrial type DJ there is no excuse in the world for not owning this CD!
Great dance floor tracks include:
World in My Eyes
Personal Jesus
Enjoy the Silence
Policy of Truth
Other tracks I spin also include:
Clean
Halo
Sweetest Perfection
Waiting for the night
As a music fan and a DJ, you MUST own this CD! This is one of my top five favorite releases ever!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Long overdue breakthrough, Oct. 1 2003
By 
Roger (Albany, NY) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Violator (Audio CD)
To all but their fans (a very large and devout bunch, granted), until this album, many regarded Depeche Mode as a 'one hit wonder' (at least in the US). Sad, but true, most people only remembered the band for their mid 80's hit 'People Are People', which, while a very subversive pop track, was not even the best track off of the stellar "Some Great Reward" album. The doubters and neighsayers must've been truly surprised when this album was released and went on to spawn several hit singles, not the least of which was "Personal Jesus", which holds the record for the best selling CD single of all time.
While certainly not the band's best work, it's hard to fault this album as a pop album. Sure, the band flirted a little bit more with mainstream sensibilities, but never without sounding like themselves, and ultimately, not without losing the dark edge that appealed to so many of their fans. This combination turned out to be a winning one for the band, as it went on to become their best selling album.
If you're a newbie trying to break in to the world of Depeche Mode, this might be a good place to start... but regardless, it is in all ways essential and will not disappoint.
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4.0 out of 5 stars This album will make you a believer........, Aug. 30 2003
This review is from: Violator (Audio CD)
No doubt Depeche Mode's most popular album, this one has got some serious legs and deservedly so. I don't know what you would call Depeche Mode sound. It's kind of a mixture between dance, electronica, and pop. Depeche Mode has their own sound which many assocaitate with an 80's tinge and thus has developed their own unique fan base. This is the album that was able to transcend that fan base and is really a gem as it is still great ten+ years later.
Where to start? Well first the album is short (about 45 minutes) but that works because this kind of music has about a 45 min max for me before I've had enough. Its pretty intense as the theme is the only reason keeping this from being a five star CD in my mind. It is dark and bleak and examines personal demons and feelings of loneliness, despair and neediness. Heavy stuff that is usally only found in the everyday rotation of the clinically insane and depressed unless you are really in the mood. Thankfully the beats and groove trancsend the atmosphere to produce likeable and singable head boppin ditties.
Four of the songs were radio hits (Personal Jesus, Enjoy the Silence, Policy Of Truth, World in My Eyes) and these are the heart and soul of the album. DM really got in a zone with these songs as they all work extremely well at pleasing and never annoying. The rest of the songs are for the most part slower paced and intersect the radio hits well. The Sweetest Perfection and Clean are the best of the rest. The only blemish on the album is Waiting For The Night. This song reminded me a precursor of what was to come on Songs Of Faith And Devotion: i.e. slow, preachy and boring.
Bottom Line: An amazing CD that people who are fans of songs like Strangelove and People are People will probably enjoy. Fans of 80's music will probably enjoy this as well.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A little 80s sounding but good music is still good music, May 4 2003
This review is from: Violator (Audio CD)
I really don't have much experience in the way of Depeche Mode. My first introduction into their world was Dream On when it came out as a single a couple of years ago. But as my interest in different music expanded exponentionally over the years, I decided to give Depeche Mode a try. Violator was my first full on listen of any Depeche Mode and I'm grateful that I did listen to it because there is not a bad song on this.
Widely claimed to be Depeche Mode's dance album, Violator is still gem to listen to. Drenched in gloom, Violator seems to follow themes of lovelorn, loneliness, disapointment and longing. There really isn't happy song on the album at all. But to surround the despare are tight, incredibly melodic arrangements of synth, guitar and percussion. Beautifully arranged and perfectly accentuating the music to further complement the dark lyrics. But even beyond that, the music is still propelled by a strong rythm that is most certainly dance floor friendly(especially the classic Enjoy The Silience).
Its a deep, rich, emotional experience that's worth revisiting thanks to quality musicianship and stellar song writing. Though most will pawn it off as just another 80s sounding synthpop band, some will realize the dark beauty that is Depeche Mode's Violator.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of the rare albums that got the recognition it deserved!, March 20 2003
This review is from: Violator (Audio CD)
Depeche Mode built a huge underground cult fan base with their unique dark undertone style of synth-pop with their masterpiece "Black Celebration" and "Music For The Masses". "Violator", their 1990 commercial breakthrough though brought the foursome into the mainstream spotlight for the first time in their career. Spanning three hit singles, and a successful worldwide tour, "Violator" became their biggest selling album of their entire career and remains that to this very day. This CD IMO was one of the few great albums that got the praise, success, and recognition that it deserved and is now a classic today.
For a CD that is so popular on the radio and the buying public, "Violator" is a surprisingly bleak, dark, and chilling in mood, and even the smash hits like "Enjoy The Silence" and "Policy Of Truth" are hardly happy, and sunny in mood like almost all other popular songs on the radio. I still hear these songs on the radio from time to time to this very day. Reasons why? They are classics, and deserve to be heard by younger Mode fans. Still though, despite these three songs being what many casual fans seem to recognize "Violator", this album as a whole offers more than just those three songs alone. Some of the songs have some hidden interludes buried within them.
A couple of the 'non-hit' songs are the best on the album. "Blue Dress" is one of those and so is "Clean". The latter song is one of the most punching numbers on this CD and one of the best songs that Depeche Mode had ever made at this point in their career. It may be about coming clean from drug problems, maybe I'm wrong on that but the truth was, their lead singer David Gahan would go into a downward spiral with heroin addiction and nearly overdosing before cleaning himself up but that's a whole other story.
Who can ever forget the gloomy classic "World In My Eyes" with it's dark, beautiful, and gloomy melody, and danceable rhythm backed up by great lyrics. DM are showing their world from their eyes. It was this song that introduced me to the Mode and I listened to more of their music and have been a fan ever since but I credit this song for turning me into a fan of them. "Enjoy The Silence" remains their biggest charting single of their career and definitely deserves so as it's an intelligent, and innovative dance song with disturbing keyboards and unforgettable atmosphere. There are five fabulous remixes of this song available on the Maxi CD-Single with two B-Sides "Sibeling" and "Memphisto" both of which are nice songs in the vein on "Pimpf". Get the CD-Single and listen to the "Ecstatic Dub" and Hands and Feet Mix: AWESOME! There's also an interlude track on the parent album version called "Crucified" which is a bizarre instrumental with menacing acoustic guitars and some angry voice effects.
The same thing holds true with "Policy Of Truth". This song is the best song on "Violator" with it's dark, low-key beats and odd chord structures. The electric wailing guitars towards the ending are hypnotizing and intense. There are four remixes of this track, all of which are great, and there is a B-Side called "Kalied" which is a funky, techno dance number. The "Beat Box" remix is excellent merely being an extended version of the original stretched to 7 minutes long and the "Trancentral" remix too with different drum sound effects and different style, it's great to hear this amazing song from a totally different light.
The other highlight of this album single wise, is the unforgettable "Personal Jesus" with its industrial pounding beats and also of it's use of twangy blues guitars. The original on this album is much better than the one on the 86-98 singles collection because it quiets down into an abstract song with some awesome metal drums where as the one on the collection I mentioned simply ends with strange guitars after only 3 minutes and 40 some odd seconds. Both versions are excellent but the "Violator" version is much superior.
The 'non-hit' songs on this album are just as engaging and as great as the hit singles. "Sweetest Perfection" is an odd and ominous song with somewhat light marching military drums with intense electronic guitar wailings and keyboards. This song kind of is like a pre-cursor to "I Feel You" with its rock-oriented sound. "Halo" is a good dance song but not as much as the others. "Waiting For The Night" starts off as a dark but sweet wintery nighttime trancey song and then gradually builds up into a somewhat ominous electronic number with no particular beat but some great melody and odd chord structures. "Blue Dress" is an intoxicating and somewhat eerie dance number with addictive rhythm, electrifying style, and dark Siberian winter atmosphere. There's also an interlude at the ending before merging with the final track "Clean". This song may have been about redemption or recovery it was actually an antithesis to the downward spiral with heroin that Gahan would go into before recovering. Musically speaking, "Clean" is an absolutely intoxicating number with thundering rhythm, and dark grey sky atmosphere that simply pulls you in before it wraps up the album.
Some point to "Violator" as the album where Depeche Mode sold out to the masses. They say so because DM scored 4 top ten singles, sold millions, and had a HUGE successful tour. To the detractors, I say garbage. This album was one of the few albums in the history of music that was intelligent, innovative, dark, and moody, with addictive danceable rhythms, dark melodies, and brilliant songwriting, and got the commercial success that it got. I consider this album as the best example of brilliant and intelligent albums getting the justice and recognition that they deserve and "Violator" is a crowning achievement in their career even if it's not my absolute favorite album of theirs.
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5.0 out of 5 stars START HERE, Nov. 7 2002
By 
Scott C Elliott "NUBUZZ" (New York City, NY) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Violator (Audio CD)
I was always aware of DM throughout the 80's through a good friend of mine who only played their records when we went to her place. I got so sick of them that everytime I saw the name I'd cringe. I'd simply never REALLY listened to DM. That is, until VIOLATOR. I heard POLICY OF TRUTH & got hooked forever. I must have played this CD so much I almost had myself convinced that this was the only record they'd ever produced. I soon found '101' in a sale bin & decided they'd be my new obsession. I've since collected everything they've ever produced, finally satisfied. I even went to see them on their EXCITER TOUR. I believe I happily suffered whiplash that night from dancing so hard! It brought me back (I partied in the early 80's in the downtown NYC scene)!! The tunes to check out on this cd are PERSONAL JESUS, ENJOY THE SILENCE, WORLD IN MY EYES, BLUE DRESS & CLEAN. Actually, this cd is flawless. You could loop it & play it endlessly without noticing, it is so seamless!! Regardless of what detractors say, this is the CD to start with, but DO NOT stop there!! Hit the earlier works & ULTRA (SORRY!! I love that one - listen again, naysayers!!!). Also, see them if you ever get the priviledge!! Peace!!
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Violator
Violator by Depeche Mode (Audio CD - 1990)
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