Thursday, August 8, 2013

My Influential Albums: Violator by Depeche Mode

Welcome to the first installment of My Influential Albums!
In each installment of this series I'll be highlighting albums that have affected me throughout my life. Why? Because I love music, and I love talking about music. Which albums have influenced you?

Violator - Depeche Mode

The year was 1990, I was 15, and this 9-song album had a profound effect on me from beginning to end. I listened to it so much I wore out 2 copies of the cassette, and it remains one of my top 10 favorite albums to this day. One review I read began "In a word, stunning." It was certainly that. It grabbed my 15-year-old mind from the first synthesized notes of "World In My Eyes," and didn't let go until the very last strains of "Clean" faded away. I was blown away.

It didn't feel like top 40 pop. It didn't quite feel like rock. It didn't feel overly dark or disturbing. It didn't feel too electronic or techno-y. 
It felt right.

Though this album produced four amazing radio singles in "Personal Jesus," "Enjoy the Silence," "Policy of Truth," and "World In My Eyes," my personal favorite tracks are the super underrated "Halo" and the utterly captivating "Blue Dress." The very first line of "Halo," for example: "You wear guilt like shackles on your feet, like a halo in reverse," drew me right in. And the chorus is one of my favorites on the entire album: 

"And when our worlds 
They fall apart
When the walls come tumbling in
Though we may deserve it
It will be worth it"

Of course, Dave Gahan's voice (and Martin Gore's in some cases) adds just the right touch to every song, and their harmonies are almost spookily perfect. "Policy of Truth" is like an eargasm.

For the purposes of this post, I just now listened to the enire album all the way through for the first time in ages, albeit on Spotify rather than a cassette this time, and I'm just as much in love with it now as I was then. Every single song. I'm not even sick of "Personal Jesus," and that's saying something. That, my friends, is one of the marks of an influential album in my eyes. "Violator" turned 23 this year, and it's stood the test of time for me. 

Here is the entire album. Listen and enjoy. 

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