A stark reality, shackles on your feet, dynamics like a punch to the solar plexus...
Synth-pop and Nineties Indie Rock
The seventh Depeche Mode album exploded the purveyors of Basildon synth-pop and indie art rock on a world hungry to listen.
It’s no wonder the album became their first to tame the American Top 10 when all their other lingered outside the top 50. Violator was chock full of big juicy hits – charting 4 of its 9 tracks as singles on both sides of the pond.
Beautifully produced by Flood – a huge team of seven engineers worked to make Violator sound not just appealing but huge. When Martin Gore’s speaker-to-speaker keyboards and Dave Gahan’s vocals kick in on World In My Eyes you feel the dynamics like a punch to the solar plexus.
Johnny Cash would tackle the fabulous Personal Jesus on his American IV: The Man Comes Around album in 2003 – a song so controversial yet catchy that it became the first single from the album. Both the “shackles on your feet” of Halo and the surprisingly pretty “stark reality” of Waiting For The Night end a perfect side.
Enjoy The Silence crashed Top 10 in March 1990 on both sides of the cultural divide – almost Cure like in its melody – it sounds amazing with a false ending that returns to an acoustic coda. Policy Of Truth, the third single from Violator precedes Blue Dress, pleasing our lovelorn boys and the Floydesque intro to Clean sets up lyrics about destiny and troubles.
Violator was a sonic and artistic triumph for Depeche Mode. Say your prayers you children of David and get personal with its grooves once again.