Every once in a blue moon, an album catches the world’s attention and holds it, finding a new audience with each successive generation. With Violator, Depeche Mode did exactly that, creating a timeless classic that feels as fresh to us today as it did when it came out. – Brendon Babenzien
World in My Eyes
In 1990, we were alive to new sounds and new ways of expressing ourselves. We could sense a world of possibilities ahead of us, but didn’t yet know what that might sound like. And when we heard Violator, we knew immediately that it felt right to us. Depeche Mode found a way to weave live instruments into the electronic music we already loved so much from them, in a way that felt organic and fresh. It didn’t come across as doing it for the sake of doing it, but a new way to add layers of textures to build a true experience was so easy to embrace - a richly imagined world to lose yourself in.
There was something about their music that facilitated a deeper connection. They spoke of universal feelings in a way that was easy to relate to. So no matter how huge the album got - and it was huge by any way you’d measure an album’s success - we still felt a personal relationship with it. While there was something about their songs that could feel larger than life, at their core they spoke to everyday struggles we related to - alienation and loneliness; when to tell the truth; the pursuit of bliss.
Enjoy the Silence
Depeche Mode didn’t just make compelling music, the music itself was cinematic - evoking imagery through its sound, even before music videos were a thing. Their look was deliberate and unique, and remains iconically Depeche Mode.
Policy of Truth
Depeche Mode’s music could often have a dark edge and the lyrics often accentuated that. Yet as down as the lyrics might seem, there is something about the music that is uplifting, that can inspire a feeling of hope. Even in their more atmospheric songs, there’s often a piece that soars - like the guitar in “Enjoy the Silence,” or a quick synth riff in “Policy of Truth.” Sometimes, the faintest glimmer of light is enough to lift your spirits.