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Depeche Mode fulfills all expectations with Violator

VIOLATOR

By Depeche Mode.

On Sire Records.

By SANDE CHEN

LAST YEAR the first single, "Personal Jesus," was released and quickly made its way up the charts, as did its B-side "Dangerous." Since then, fans of the British quartet, Depeche Mode, have been eagerly anticipating the release of Violator. "Enjoy the Silence," another single, came out early this year and almost made waiting unbearable, but finally the "forthcoming" Depeche Mode album arrived. It's not a disappointment, either -- Depeche Mode fulfills all expectations by providing a wondrous set of eight songs.

After 10 previous albums, Depeche Mode still retains a freshness and originality -- be prepared to hear some nice new sounds. As an added bonus, Violator, like Music for the Masses, contains no previously released material, a trend that will hopefully continue.

Like most of the previous albums, Martin Gore penned all the lyrics. He comments upon social behavior in such a heartfelt way that sometimes it is easy to miss the silent tragedy. In "The Sweetest Perfection," a soothing piece about love, he says,

[el1l][it1p,1p]

I stop and I stare too much

Afraid that I care too much

And I hardly dare to touch. . . .

I want the real thing not tokens

[el1l][it0,0]

His writing is more touching than <>

ever and, combined with music, makes an absolute experience.

"Waiting for the Night," slow and probing, is the most reflective song in the batch. It's a welcome contrast to the likes of "Halo" and "Clean." These songs are intense and truthful, yet never distracting. "Blue Dress" has a seductive quality about it, quite akin to "Dressed in Black" from Black Celebration. The interludes between songs are quite good also.

My choice for the next single would definitely be "The Policy of Truth." It has a driving beat and much potential for future remixes. An alternative would be "World in My Eyes," which oddly is reminiscent of "Never Let Me Down Again" and "Strangelove" from Music for the Masses.

Violator is a great album. My only qualm is that there were only eight songs. But beyond that, Violator is sure to generate much success for Depeche Mode, and deservedly so.