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Violator

Written by on March 31, 2024

On March 19, 1990, Depeche Mode released their 7th album, Violator.
And here is my Retrospective Review.

1. World in My Eyes: Right away you hear the synthesizers and that new wavey sound, then the lyrics….”Let me take you on a trip”. So you turn up the volume to listen to what he’s saying. You start to feel it’s romanticism but maybe lust? Beautiful, seductive, and sensual. In my opinion, it’s a very positive song. It says to me, that love, sex, and pleasure are very positive with maybe a bit of a sarcastic undertone. Really, this track gets listened to on repeat. Probably why my cassette broke way back when? LOL

2. Sweetest Perfection: This song is about being completely taken by something, that at one point felt so beautiful. It’s about an addiction, maybe? Or their own or partner’s perfections? It IS an extremely powerful song and longing for perfection is what we naturally all strive for……ironic how the sweetest perfection really isn’t sweet or perfect at all!

3. Personal Jesus: Features a catchy bluesy riff and drum-based sound, radically different from anything the band had released this far. Right away he says “Reach out, touch faith”. Back to that catchy beat “Your own personal Jesus”. Some say it’s about how “Elvis Presley was Priscilla’s man and her mentor and how often that happens in love and relationships”? I don’t know if it was or wasn’t about Elvis or Jesus but in my opinion, I feel it’s about somebody. Someone you can talk to, someone to give you hope and care. Maybe even just a person who keeps your secrets? The riffs alone kept me moving. Singing along on this one is a must! One of their more popular song also.

4. Halo: As I sit here listening to this song. Very synth start. Then I suddenly realized there’s a greater meaning of this song. I was focused on just a few of the lyrics. “You wear guilt. Like shackles on your feet” because they spoke most directly to me, a person who automatically needs to be seen as “Good” and maybe trapped by guilt at every step, every turn. I realized the quality of these words. That catchy chorus suddenly got me with its message. The power of music still amazes me. Lyrics are powerful! Music lyrics can definitely make you feel something deep inside and can speak when nothing else can. Who says poetry in our modern era is dead?

5. Waiting for the Night: The start of this track ropes you into a melody that is haunting. To me, there are a few interpretations. 1. Possibly, Death? Lyrics: “Know my deliverance will come soon” and “And angels appeared to descend”, maybe he is reflecting on night so he can go peaceful. 2. War? Lyrics: “There is a sound in the calm,
Someone is coming to harm, I press my hands to my ears” Possibly because at night things are quieter in wartime? And finally, 3. Possibly, it’s about isolating yourself from pain. The night could mean you don’t have to see the negativity around you. “It’s easier here just to forget fear” That part of the song shows to me he’d rather be numb to pain than deal with it. No matter what your interpretation or maybe there isn’t even a meaning. It’s a haunting track that sticks with you with dark lyrics.

6. Enjoy the Silence: Right away the music hits you with that catchy synthesizer Depeche Mode sound. “Words like violence. Break the silence” Then you get to the chorus of the song “All I ever wanted, All I ever needed, Is here in my arms, Words are very unnecessary, They can only do harm” BOOM you understand it’s about a relationship or marriage. He is saying that if we don’t speak we can’t hurt each other, I enjoy being with you, in your arms, and it’s perfect, but don’t tell me things I won’t want to hear. Definitely a song that you will sing along with and have an appreciation for.

7. Policy of Truth: First of all, the beat to this track is amazing IMO. The drum makes it, I feel. This song is about how it’s not always the best policy to tell the truth. Some things are better left unsaid. But we are told that “honesty is the best policy” BUT sometimes the truth can cause more damage than bring a good consequence. He keeps repeating the lyrics: “Never again is what you swore, The time before, Never again is what you swore, The time before” When it comes to a damaging truth, maybe, saying a lie or nothing could save the pain? Kind of a straightforward song with a great drum beat. Definitely a must in a playlist.

8. Blue Dress: Starts with a weird synth tune, almost a soft scream sound. Definitely a haunting track with a “pervy” feel. At first, you think maybe a peeping tom watching a woman in a dress. Or they are in a relationship and he likes watching her dress? But mostly I feel the song “Blue Dress” is a song of love. He’s asking her to “put it on” – the “it” being the blue dress. He believes that something so simple can make “him a happy man”. The “Blue dress” in my opinion is for the little things that people sometimes overlook. Looking through someone else eyes to see the true beauty of simplicity. Definitely not as dark as I once thought.

9. Clean: The start of the track is definitely inspired by Pink Floyd’s song “One of These Days”. I feel the song is about a personal journey to or with sobriety. Reflects on the struggles of addiction. The efforts it takes to break free from the habits. As listening or as a listener, you get hit with your struggles. You are left with hope and the power to overcome inner demons, seek redemption, and feelings of emotion overcome you. The haunting melody and hypnotic groove, it definitely draws you in. Then you are hit with Dave Gahan’s emotional vocals.

This album reached number 7 on the Billboard 200 and was certified triple platinum by the RIAA. The Violator album is flawless. There are a few tracks that hit the soul.
As a lover of music in general, I never got sick of this album. I remember buying it on vinyl and cassette. I didn’t own everything from Depeche Mode but was hooked on this album at 16 years old (When it came out).
Hope you enjoy this album as much as I do. Or if you’ve never heard it, I hope I have inspired you to check it out!
Thank you for your time and keep it TOTALLY TUBULAR!


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