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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Depeche Mode -- Violator


When I was a preteen, my life was pretty simple. Feed my fish. Go to school. Build up to Saturday. Watch Doctor Who on PBS Saturday night.
I don't mean the new, orchestral score-blasted Doctor Who (no offense).
I mean the Moogy, scarfy one.
Anyway, one day I rode out to Baton Rouge with two of my older cousins, so that we could go to the fish store. My oldest cousin had the radio up really loud, and before I knew it, this song by some British band jacked my brain. A few days later, I saw their video, and my highly emotional preteen self decided that I did indeed "Enjoy The Silence."

The hypnotic guitar riff and vocal hook captured my mind, just as Doctor Who took me through the pin-pricked black-curtain stars.
"Enjoy the Silence," comes from Depeche Mode's Violator. I eventually picked it up, hoping for more songs of "Silence"'s caliber, but I was disappointed. I really wish that Violator had a more full sound. The songs are just too simple for my taste. One synthesizer and a drum machine just doesn't do it for me, even with the sometime addition of electronic sounds and skeletal guitar. I feel like even kitschy hit, "Personal Jesus," would be more than that if there was just a little more going on in the song. With a sound this basic, things get repetitive fast. Though Violator is only nine songs, 47-minutes long, it goes on for an eternity.
As it is, I'm thankful for the wonderful memories "Enjoy the Silence" gave me. They can keep the rest...
or so I thought. The more I've heard this album during my review re-listens, the more the songs have grown on me. I realize why, and it's something I only mentioned once above: Martin Gore's vocal hooks. They weasel their way into your head after a while, just like, for at least half of this album, Gore sounds to be weaseling his way into some girl's pants. On top of that, while I may not always admire Depeche Mode's approach, the band do know how to write a song. I can't give this less than a six. It wouldn't be fair. Now, I'm gonna go feed my fish. Where's my scarf?

1990 Sire/Reprise
1. World in My Eyes 4:26
2. Sweetest Perfection 4:43
3. Personal Jesus 4:56
4. Halo 4:30
5. Waiting for the Night 6:07
6. Enjoy the Silence 6:12
7. Policy of Truth 4:55
8. Blue Dress 5:41
9. Clean 5:28

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