Review #167: Violator, Depeche Mode

Karla Clifton
2 min readSep 1, 2021

#167: Violator, Depeche Mode

I don’t actually know much about Depeche Mode. I know that they’re from the eighties but sound like they’re from the future. I know that I used to think that Depeche Mode and The Smiths were the same band, because of David Gahan’s bass voice. I know about that one industrial band called KMFDM which maybe stands for “Kill M***** F****** Depeche Mode” (or maybe doesn’t).

Apparently this was their seventh album? What is it with British bands and not being able to get it right the first five times?

David Gahan is the singer of Depeche Mode, but keyboardist/guitarist Martin Gore wrote most of their lyrics. He also I guess named the band, because he thought that it meant “hurried fashion or fashion dispatch.”

In fact, when translated literally, it actually means “Fashion Update.” Just like most people, when Depeche Mode tries too hard to be clever, they mess up.


“World in My Eyes” — When a man’s bass voice is good, it’s GOOD. Like a velvet-coated computer.

“Personal Jesus” Reach out and touch faith! This is the Depeche song I used to hear on classic rock radio all the time, and it always used to confuse me because they sound like Eurythmics. Super catchy, mildly terrifying. (Last night I saw Garbage live and Shirley Manson did a mashup of a Garbage song and this one and I screamed SO LOUD.)

“Waiting For The Night” — The opening to this song sounds just like a goth version of “Such Great Heights” by the Postal Service.

“Enjoy the Silence” — This was their only top ten in the US. I suspect it’s because you can hear his British accent really well. I also love that there’s actually two minutes of “silence” at the end of the song.

“Policy of Truth” — They have amazing intros, I’ll give them that.

“Blue Dress” — I’m not even sure I like this one, but I appreciate their commitment to the creepy outro.

“Memphisto” — The 2006 reissue has a bunch of songs that sound like if the Phantom of the Opera got his hands on a synthesizer.

“Kaleid” — Is that a guitar? Hard to tell, but I like it.


“Sweetest Perfection” — I think Morrissey might have ruined bass voices for me.

“Halo” — Okay! I’m bored!

“Sibeling” — Are we just doing four-minute piano solos now?


REACH OUT AND TOUCH FAITH! Whoops, my new religion is Depeche Mode.

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