Album of the Month: September 2019

“Violator” by Depeche Mode

March 1990

“Over the last five years I think we’d perfected a formula; my demos, a month in a programming studio, etc. etc. We decided that our first record of the ’90s ought to be different.” – Martin Gore

When I moved to Florida for a bit pretty much right after High School I spent a lot of time going to my job at K-Mart and then coming home and sitting on the computer playing “Star Craft II”. My musical tastes were a whole bunch of metal and maybe some reggae but not too much beyond that. As a I was getting bored of the music of the game I started going through my sister’s album collection out of curiosity.

There was a lot of albums I loved in that collection but one that started a long abiding love for the band that made them was her Depeche Mode albums. I had always loved “Enjoy the Silence”, I have vague memories of sitting in the back of whatever vehicle as a kid and hearing it come on over the radio and the he melody and beat just plastering a smile on my face. Sometimes at night when I was younger and I couldn’t get thoughts of Pennywise eating me out of my head, I’d turn on Q.92 to just distract me and occasionally the station would play the song, it would have an immediate soothing effect.

It never occurred to me over the years that the album that song came from might be any good. Once I threw it on I fell in love and it almost instantly. It opened a whole new world for me musically. I’m still a stubborn bastard when it comes to music so it took a long time but this album was certainly a gateway to more genres, styles, and moods. “Violator” isn’t even my favorite Depeche Mode record but I’ll be damn if it isn’t perhaps their magnum opus and it certainly was my introduction to them.

This album is pure concentrated nostalgia but don’t get wrong, it can make you nostalgic for the very moment you’re listening to it.