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Violator

Depeche Mode

1990

Buy At Rough Trade
Violator
Album Summary

Violator is the seventh studio album by English electronic music band Depeche Mode. It was first released on 19 March 1990 by Mute Records internationally, and by Sire and Reprise Records in the United States. Preceded by the singles "Personal Jesus" and "Enjoy the Silence" (a top-10 entry in both the United Kingdom and the United States), the album propelled the band into international stardom, and also yielded the singles "Policy of Truth" and "World in My Eyes". Violator reached number two on the UK Albums Chart, and was the band's first album to chart inside the top 10 of the Billboard 200, peaking at number seven. The album was supported by the World Violation Tour.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.66

Votes

13811

Genres

  • Rock
  • Pop
  • New Wave

Reviews

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Thu Mar 11 2021
5

In a word, stunning. Perhaps an odd word to use given that Violator continued in the general vein of the previous two studio efforts by Depeche Mode: Martin Gore's upfront lyrical emotional extremism and knack for a catchy hook filtered through Alan Wilder's ear for perfect arrangements, ably assisted by top English producer Flood. Yet the idea that this record would both dominate worldwide charts, while song for song being simply the best, most consistent effort yet from the band could only have been the wildest fantasy before its release. The opening two singles from the album, however, signaled something was up. First was "Personal Jesus," at once perversely simplistic, with a stiff, arcane funk/hip-hop beat and basic blues guitar chords, and tremendous, thanks to sharp production touches and David Gahan's echoed, snaky vocals. Then "Enjoy the Silence," a nothing-else-remains-but-us ballad pumped up into a huge, dramatic romance/dance number, commanding in its mock orchestral/choir scope. Follow-up single "Policy of Truth" did just fine as well, a low-key Motown funk number for the modern day with a sharp love/hate lyric to boot. To top it all off, the album itself scored on song after song, from the shuffling beat of "Sweetest Perfection" (well sung by Gore) and the ethereal "Waiting for the Night" to the guilt-ridden-and-loving-it "Halo" building into a string-swept pounder. "Clean" wraps up Violator on an eerie note, all ominous bass notes and odd atmospherics carrying the song. Goth without ever being stupidly hammy, synth without sounding like the clinical stereotype of synth music, rock without ever sounding like a "rock" band, Depeche here reach astounding heights indeed.

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Fri Jan 22 2021
5

YES YES YES YES YES YES YES BRAIN GO BRRRRRR GOOD ALBUM BEST ALBUM

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Wed Sep 15 2021
5

Dark, edgy, and moody, with great songwriting and even better atmosphere. But for me, the most astonishing part is how ridiculously clean and well produced the album is through and through. It is spotless. The musical equivalent of a black marble statue in a dramatically lit room.

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Tue Feb 01 2022
2

Evidently my love for this album faded at some point because I was just underwhelmed this time around.

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Sat Aug 21 2021
5

God I love Depeche Mode. The three-album stretch from Black Celebration is the pinnacle of 80s synth pop. From the haunting vocals to the ominous and yearnful lyrics to the funky dance synths, this album creates an atmosphere that sets a mood you can only find in few other artists like Soft Cell. This album in particular is full of hits. Each could stand on its own as part of a dance or 80s playlist and fit right now. "World In My Eyes" is a great song is remind everyone this is indeed Depeche Mode, setting the mood for the rest of the album. "Personal Jesus" is a classic, and I can't believe my wish came true that it was an extended version of the single. The only track I wasn't crazy about was "Blue Dress." Note I am ignoring the bonus tracks in the remastered version, whose addition would have dropped this album's score to 4 stars.

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Tue Jun 21 2022
1

Their oppressive machine rhythms are funkless by design and well-matched by the colourless vocals. But that doesn't make the dour clunk-and-moan any more satisfying.

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Mon Oct 19 2020
5

An odd territory of not being The Cure or Joy Division levels of depressing but also being far from standard pop fare. Great

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Tue Sep 29 2020
5

My first full run through, despite hearing a few songs a million times. Really great. Not much else to say. Definitely will revisit.

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Thu May 06 2021
5

классика эз из. Печальный, тягучий, молитвенный синтпоп, облагороженный годнейшими поп-мотивами и цепляющими припевами (причем вышел в один год с Nowhere Райда и весьма напоминает его по синергии мелодий), 9/10

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Mon Mar 21 2022
5

Just a solid album front to back. Despite being in the early nineties, this record sounds ahead of its time, as well as being a culmination of all of the darker synth-pop that had been released up to this point. Real vampire rave music. Plus, the album versions of "Personal Jesus" and "Enjoy the Silence" are fantastic. Favorite tracks: "Personal Jesus", "Policy of Truth", "Enjoy the Silence"

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Mon Mar 29 2021
5

Previously, I had only heard Personal Jesus and Enjoy the Silence from this album so it was great to finally listen to the complete album. I really loved this album!

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Sun Jun 06 2021
5

Dark synth waves lapping at the shore of a beach of black sand. Absolutely peerless and wonderful.

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Wed Aug 11 2021
5

As my black candles burn in my otherwise pitch black room, illuminating the slow-motion rose petals falling from flowers, leaving only thorns, I purse my lips without smearing my dark purple lipstick, and I almost feel a tear well up on the corner of my heavily shadowed eyes, but I hold back, as I don't want to smear the ankh I drew with eye shadow under it. This captures 80s teen angst perfectly.

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Mon Jan 18 2021
2

Glad I wasn't a teenager in the 80s

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Sun Jun 06 2021
5

Simply stunning. A perfect pop album. Obviously some standout tracks, Personal Jesus and Enjoy the Silence are absolute classics among others, but there a no weak tracks on this album.

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Thu Apr 22 2021
5

This synth-pop album from England at the start of the 90's was great easy-listening music while getting some work done! Every track seemed to be composed perfectly without a single noise out of place. I can see why this is Depeche Mode's most famous album. Would listen to again!

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Sun May 23 2021
5

Still super menacing synth pop; ghostly vocals and production with the cold future forward production... amazing record, aged well

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Thu Jul 29 2021
5

So far I like it! It's very interesting electronic album. I can see why a lot of people love this album. Sweetest Perfection is an amazing track that sounds like the album name. I recommend this track. The beat switches on this album have been astounding so far. Halo is giving me some Daft Punk vibes with that instrumental. The singing is gorgeous. I also really liked "Enjoy The Silence" That dark outro was eerie.

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Fri Jul 30 2021
5

I've listened to this quite a few times. I'm a big fan, Love Personal Jesus, love Enjoy the silence, and everything else is just solid.

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Wed Sep 15 2021
5

Immaculate, Dark, Doomy. A Polished Obsidian Mirror with drifting wisps of smoke.

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Fri Sep 17 2021
5

The sounds, oh, the sounds... This album takes a synth machine, plugs it into your f***ing skull and turns it up to 11. Epic noises and catchy tunes that I'll definitely be revisiting

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Sat Oct 30 2021
5

How have I never listened to this band before? This is totally my jam.

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Fri Nov 05 2021
5

I'm guilty of enjoying Depeche Mode through singles and never digging into their full albums. This one is loaded with mega hits but it's all incredible throughout, albeit short. This is another one of those albums that I would think people would describe as "I wish I could listen to it for the first time again" and I'm really enjoying that part of this experience each time that one of those rare gems comes up.

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Sun Nov 14 2021
5

There's not a track on this album I don't love. 5 stars

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Thu Nov 25 2021
5

Absolutely perfect in terms of consistency of tone, never outstays its welcome.

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Tue Nov 30 2021
5

The rousing final instalment of the Depeche Mode Trilogy, before they went all Extended Universe

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Thu Dec 16 2021
5

Definitely a top 10 all-timer for me

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Fri Dec 24 2021
5

I have loved this album since it was originally released. It’s really great to hear it again. I love everything on the album, but here’s a shout out to my favorites: “World In My Eyes” - yummy Depeche Mode moodiness with their epic swells “Sweetest Perfection” - relentless beat that pulls this song along like the drugs it references “Personal Jesus” - absolutely amazing marching beat and guitars really expanded Depeche Mode’s sound while remaining firmly true to their style “Halo” - I love this lush, warm, bizarro love song “Waiting for the Night” - I’ve always been a night owl and have always felt a connection to this moody track “Enjoy The Silence” is an incredible masterpiece. A perfect song. It’s epic, the synths glorious, the vocals compelling… this could be Depeche Mode’s greatest song. What an opening… ‘Words like violence, Break the silence, Come crashing in, Into my little world.’ Incredible. “Policy of Truth” - Another contender for my favorite Depeche Mode song, this has such great lyrics on the virtues of lying. I love this song so much. All six bonus tracks on the “Bonus Tracks Edition” from 2006 were B-sides appearing on the vinyl singles. I enjoyed these a lot! Glad they were here.

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Fri Dec 24 2021
5

Sure, I know Depeche Mode, but I had never listened to this album. I loved it all. I really dig the sound of the electronic music and vocals of this group. It is also a nostalgic sound for me that I think attracts me the most as I listen to it today. It's a keeper for my library.

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Fri Dec 24 2021
5

Oh, I did enjoy this album when it came out. One of my last cassette purchases and one of my first iTunes digital album purchases from the iPod era. The opening song, "World in my Eyes" sets a moody synth pop tone which perfectly fit the soundtrack of my early 20s and is a sound that I still love. I may have blared "Personal Jesus" a number of times in the day, singing it loudly with friends, feeling a bit naughty as we were rejecting religious hangups and speculating that it referred to a phone sex hotline (how 1990 is that phrase?). It's still a masterpiece (which was made clear when it was covered by Johnny Cash). (This has become an exercise in nostalgia rather than a review. I apologize.) I never get tired of listening to "Enjoy the Silence" and "Policy of Truth" (which always have to be listened to together, I think, with their weird interlude between). They are constant favorites in my playlists. An all time favorite.

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Fri Dec 31 2021
5

Nice Album. I don't like Depeche Mode too much, but this album is full of songs of my liking.

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Wed Jan 12 2022
5

Already knew personal jesus and enjoy the silence, even the grp in general. Very good consistency through the album, love the old video games sounds very nostalgic

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Tue Jan 18 2022
5

Entering the dark Mode here, brilliant, original, grimy classics Just brilliant.

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Tue Feb 01 2022
5

Depeche Mode's signature album

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Mon Mar 28 2022
5

Probably one of the best albums of the 90’s. Every day rack is amazing

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Thu Apr 14 2022
5

Absolute classic of the 80's (and one of my wife's favorite albums). Distinctive style

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Wed Apr 20 2022
5

Great album. I know more songs on this than I thought I did.

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Mon May 23 2022
5

Just a really, really perfect record. Single-handedly legitimizes electronic music for those hesitant. Sexy and brooding, with every note and sound perfectly placed.

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Tue May 24 2022
5

Yeah this was fantastic, dark, moody and catchy electronic rock. I've only heard the singles from Depeche Mode and always liked them but this far surpassed my expectations.

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Sun May 29 2022
5

Is this actually random? 200+ albums and the first DM I get is the day after Fletch dies. Reminds me of the problems Apple had with the shuffle facility on the original iPod (summary: peeps refused to believe that random was random, and so an algorithm was introduced into the software to create randomity. If such a word exists. Which probably mirrors the whole process of creating a random sequence. For people with a very fixed idea of what random should mean.)

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Thu Jun 23 2022
5

🟦 93 🥇 Personal Jesus 🥈 Enjoy the Silence 🥉 Clean

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Sun Jul 03 2022
5

What is there to say about this album that hasn't been said so many times before. This album doesn't have a weak moment, all songs are absolutely right. It's an album with the atmosphere of night. One of my few 5*

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Wed Jul 27 2022
5

A perfectly crafted album: dark without succumbing to utter despair, synths entwined with full-bodied drums, a vision maintained from first note to last. Depeche Mode enter the 90s at the top of their game and ready to conquer.

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Sun Jul 31 2022
5

If I would have to name one album that shows Depeche Mode on the peak of their talent, it would probably this one. After two excellent predecessors, this album is DM at the hight of their potential. The mood is gloomy, but embellished by Alan Wilder's intricate arrangements. The songs themselves are chef's kiss as well - on one single album we find legendary songs like Personal Jesus, Waiting for the Night, Enjoy the Silence and Policy of Truth; the rest of the songs, while lesser known, are equally as good. Truly iconic. 5/5

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Mon Aug 01 2022
5

Very unique ambient. Also, Kaleid is perfect to code, kind of like a Mr Robot music. The singer makes me think of Dead or Alive

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Wed Aug 03 2022
5

This one really surprised me. I'd heard the hits before and was certain I knew what I was getting into: generic 80s pseudo-political/deep pop. But what I got was a brilliant experiment in early 90s electric rock. I got huge Nine Inch Nails vibes from this, but more "poppy" if that makes sense. This album was a joy to listen to on headphones uninterrupted. I really really liked this album and can't believe I've lived all these years and never listened to it before. If you can, listen to the 2006 Reissue. The instrumental songs added at the end are AMAZING and my favorite part of the album. 4.5/5 but rounding up. It's that good.

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Thu Aug 18 2022
5

Synth-pop, 1990. The greatest synth-pop record of all time with songs like "Personal Jesus", "Enjoy the Silence", "Policy of Truth". It has a perfect tracklist, amazing music and very good lyrics too. It's definitely a 90s masterpiece.

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Mon Sep 05 2022
5

Classic. Good to listen to it again with a more attentive ear.

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Tue Sep 06 2022
5

Having heard tonnes of Depeche Mode tunes over the years, this is the first time I'd ever listened to an album of theirs in full. No idea why I waited so long.

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Mon Sep 12 2022
5

Pop sounding synths with a dark undertone that takes it to a new level.

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Sat Sep 17 2022
5

Depeche Mode's masterpiece and synth-pop"s exquisite dying breaths. A more democratic approach to songwriting and recording redefined their sound. Dark hooks abound within a rich, textured atmosphere. I consider this a perfect album.

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Sat Sep 17 2022
5

I was going to give this 4 stars at first but after reflecting, there really are no flaws and it's a very compelling record. I love the juxtaposition of poppy dance beats with dark, megalomaniac lyrics. An absolutely standout record.

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Sat Oct 15 2022
5

Happy Friday to me! Looks like I get to celebrate with some Depeche Mode. I'm maybe partial to Some Great Reward, but perfectly happy with Violator. One of my favorite voices to listen to, sooths my brain. This album evokes a very singular mood; a dark palace built out of synths with catchy irresistible hooks pulling you from room to room. World In My Eyes, Personal Jesus, Enjoy The Silence, Policy Of Truth. Such great songs.

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Wed Jun 07 2023
5

The hits are severely overplayed (I can't fucking stand Personal Jesus at this point), but I've never heard the other songs and damn they are great. It has like one weak track but idc, this deserves a 5

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Thu Jan 21 2021
4

I liked this more than I expected and there were some songs I would go back and listen to. This is not a genre I typically listen to. It feels like the midpoint between 80’s synth pop and the industrial synthy music of the 90’s and early 00’s. I can hear Chvrches, NIN, and Muse.

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Mon Feb 13 2023
2

Depeche Mode just doesn't really do much for me. I definitely like this album more than 'Music for the Masses' but really only because of two tracks "Personal Jesus" and "Enjoy the Silence". These two songs are great and one's that I'd definitely come back to but aside from them I was pretty underwhelmed by this album. I went back and checked my other Depeche Mode review and still feel like this general sentiment resonates for me with this album (aside for the two songs mentioned above): The production choices on this type of synth-pop make it feel shallow. It's not that it isn't decent music, just not what I would ever choose to listen to as I have trouble connecting to the artists at all. Standout Tracks: Personal Jesus, Enjoy the Silence, Blue Dress

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Tue Nov 17 2020
4

9/10, Definitive New Wave classic, fantastic songs, all killer no filler

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Sun Jan 03 2021
4

Sensuous songs with a surprisingly deep soundscape

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Wed Jan 13 2021
4

First real Depeche Mode album listen. A lot of good popular songs, but the rest are pretty great too.

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Sat Jul 08 2023
3

Man, I’m dumb. I wasted an “Enjoy the Silence” joke on my review of Music for the Masses, not realizing that I’d have to review the record that the song is actually on. I think would enjoy Depeche Mode more if they were an instrumental band. They do some great things with synths on this record, but the lachrymose vocals from Dave Gahan really hamper my enjoyment. In fact, you could probably even say, “words are very unnecessary, they can only do harm”…to this record. Fuck yes, I managed to pull off an “Enjoy the Silence” joke after all.

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Mon Jul 05 2021
2

maybe brexit was right. i'm clearly not european enough to appreciate Depeche Mode. its all part of the tories plan to destroy the EU. British people aren't allowed to live in europe and europe are making it a cunt for british bands to tour. what those 'unelected beurocrats' have failed to see is that by effectively banning Depeche Mode from playing in europe all of the EU will implode. thats my understanding of how big Depeche Mode are in the EU. Two massive singles on here surrounded by some utter garbage. those europeans don't know shit.

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Fri Aug 06 2021
2

They feel very full of themselves and confident in the music they’re producing but I’m not a fan.

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Mon Oct 04 2021
2

Not sure if this should be on a 1001 list. I kind of like a few songs, but the overall value of the album isn't very high. 2 stars.

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Wed Dec 28 2022
2

Although this is their 7th album I still don’t think they have mastered putting the “feelz” into their synth pop. For example Kraftwerk is arguably more robotic and mechanical sounding but they’re able to imbue more soul and humanism into their music. Depeche Mode OTOH sound so soulless and hollow to me. Enjoy the silence is a fine song, probably one of their best actually, but the rest of the album is meh to me.

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Tue Feb 14 2023
2

Never listened to a Depeche mode album before but Kinda thought I knew what to expect.... and it lived up to it.... Generally not a fan of that synthy sound from the late 80s. Never liked personal Jesus. Enjoy the silence is better though. Didn't really do anything for me. Forgettable.

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Wed Jan 26 2022
1

Pathetic. Honestly I’ve had this shit, Morrissey and the Smiths nearly in a row. Make you wonder whether it’s worth persisting.

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Tue Oct 13 2020
5

Already have listened to this one quite a lot, but always a great listen.

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Thu Jan 21 2021
5

I liked this more than music for the masses. Expanding their instrumentation made it a little more accessible

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Wed Mar 24 2021
5

One of the best electronic pop albums ever made, it has a very clean sound and ambiance. It will definitely make you feel things.

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Thu May 27 2021
5

Tätä on tullut joskus silloin aikanaan kuunneltua ei nyt raivolla, mutta useasti kuitenkin. Pääsi kuitenkin yllättämään positiivisesti. Ennalta tutut biisit tempasivat mukaansa ja herkkyyttäkin löytyi sopivassa suhteessa.

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Thu May 06 2021
5

Ой бля, вроде дохуя культовая классика для сфер, в которых я не особо секу. Не, вроде по кайфу местами прям норм, но шишка не сильно встаёт. Просто дело в том, что если 4 ставить, то это всего на балл выше нигерского попса, что был до этого, Первый трек чёт интерес отбивает, второй уже тащит. Персональному Иисусу должное уже вполне отдаю. Признаю, что Енжоу Тхе Силенце мб ваще один из самых пиздатых треков в истории человечества. Ещё в бонусах там Дагероус маленько раскачала. Тут дело в том, что имхо вокальные партии порой тащат на порядок выше инструментала. Чего прям ваще в охуенных альбомах быть вроде не должно. Но я вроде остановился на том, что со своими взятыми из головы условиями 5 я буду ставить только альбомам, что слышал до этого, а это - полная залупа. Тут хотя бы ощущение, что слушаешь что-то охуенное и эпохальное. Так что пускай будет 5, похуй.

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Wed Apr 07 2021
5

Funky beats. Enjoy the silence.

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Sun May 23 2021
5

funny cause i listened to this recently after i read that it was an inspiration for pet shop boys' 'behaviour' which was also on the list and i kinda liked. i listened to violator twice and i'm liking it even more on this third listen. the hits are amazing but sweetest perfection is the best song here. honestly there are maybe 2 meh songs but im giving it a 5 cause of the replay value, i like it more with every listen.

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Tue May 11 2021
5

Great album! From World in my Eyes to Clean. Great track after great track

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Tue May 11 2021
5

If you listen to just the 9 track original this album is really really excellent. Great songs, slick production. The 2006 remaster adds a bunch of filler for no good reason...maybe to add "value"

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Wed May 26 2021
5

This is definitely my sort of jam! Some excellent earworm tracks on here and peak Depeche Mode.

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Tue Aug 03 2021
5

beep boop before beep boops were cool

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Thu Sep 16 2021
5

классический альбом, который до этого я слушал, но не мог расслышать переход с blue dress на clean - находка музыка бам синты во

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Tue Sep 21 2021
5

Потрясающий альбом. Классика.

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Fri Nov 05 2021
5

5 and beyond. I'm pretty much over Personal Jesus but there are so many hits on this one. Super super good.

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Wed Nov 24 2021
5

Killer album! Love the sounds Depeche uses.

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Tue Nov 30 2021
5

Another I'd have given 4.5 stars, but happy to round up. Musically strong, brilliantly produced, well presented album. Lyrics seem more a mood thing, but it was a ride I'd take again.

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