label: wea / warner bros.
our score: 3.5 out of 5.0
buy it: order
their synth-based conception, Depeche Mode have been known as
experimental, musical innovators and over their 20 year history
have matured into a vintage bunch of live and studio performers.
Forever pushing back boundaries, their album releases, though
few and far between these days, have been memorable occasions
and mark their adaption and musical evolution. The latest entry
to their extensive catalogue is Exciter, a good album with
strong single potential, although ultimately falling a good way
short of their recent outings.
The high point
of their career, without doubt, was the brilliant Violator,
which confirmed Martin Gore as a genius lyricist and yielded their
strongest singles, "Enjoy the Silence" and "Personal
Jesus." Following that, the obsessional anthems that marked
Songs of Faith and Devotion and the western guitars that
surprised on Ultra launched a golden Depeche Mode era in
which every record offered something new and innovative.
Maybe I have
come to expect too much, but Exciter does not deliver the
high standards of past albums. The first single, "Dream On,"
appears to be a hanger on to the Ultra era and is misplaced
on Exciter, while there fails to be a theme or a feel to
the new album that stands out like a beacon. And, disappointingly,
Gore has written his least imaginative lyrics in years, with "Breathe"
and several others failing to inspire.
that, there are fantastic moments on Exciter and it is
worth getting to know. "I Feel Loved" is a gloriously
upbeat pop song while "Dream On" and "The Sweetest
Condtion" do hold their own and merit going back for more.
is a good, strong album, though in the Depeche Mode context it
is easy to criticise it because the previous standards have been
so high. Even so, it is sure to add to the 50 million albums they
have sold since 1981, and be a great pre-cursor to the tour they
are due to embark upon later this year.
3. The Sweetest Condition
4. When the Body Speaks
5. The Dead of Night
9. I Feel Loved
11. Easy Tiger
12. I Am You
13. Goodnight Lovers