Exciter

Exciter

4.7 10
by Depeche Mode
     
 

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Unlike 1997's Ultra, which signaled Depeche Mode's comeback after lead singer David Gahan's drug rehabilitation and featured the radio-friendly songs "Home" and "Barrel of a Gun," the excitement on Exciter is buried a little deeper. Fueled by lines like "to the soul's desires the body listens/what the flesh requires keeps the heartSee more details below

Overview

Unlike 1997's Ultra, which signaled Depeche Mode's comeback after lead singer David Gahan's drug rehabilitation and featured the radio-friendly songs "Home" and "Barrel of a Gun," the excitement on Exciter is buried a little deeper. Fueled by lines like "to the soul's desires the body listens/what the flesh requires keeps the heart imprisoned," the lush, synth-and-string-filled "When the Body Speaks" showcases Gahan's renewed vocal strength and Martin Gore's beautifully twisted songwriting, which is in equal parts spiritually attuned and gloriously kinky. The group revisits the downward spiral caused by drug addiction -- a theme they expertly tackled on the 1987 single "Never Let Me Down Again" -- with the acoustic-driven "Dream On," on which Gahan gravely groans: "It sucks you in/It drags you down/To where there is no hallowed ground." Like their previous discs, Exciter offers a sparse, slow-building standout track, in this case "Freelove": "No hidden catch/No strings attached/Just free love," pines Gahan. Perhaps that sentiment sums up the overall mood of Exciter, which is suffused with Gahan's plaintive voice breathing world-weary life into Gore's guilt-ridden, existential wordplay. Depeche's quieter musical direction -- courtesy of Björk producer Mark Bell -- may not get you groovin' as hard as you did with classics such as "People Are People" and "Strangelove." But like a bloodthirsty vampire, these angst-ridden Brits still leave you wanting more.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Ned Raggett
It's rare to find bands capable of keeping their own best qualities to the fore while trying something new each time out, but Depeche Mode demonstrate that balance in full on the marvelous Exciter. Arguably the first album made by the group as a cohesive unit since Violator (and bearing some resemblance to that record in overall title and song names -- compare "The Sweetest Condition" with "The Sweetest Perfection"), Exciter finds the trio again balancing pop catchiness with experimental depths. As with Ultra, an outside producer helps focus the end results in new, intriguing directions -- in this case, said producer is Mark Bell, known for his work with Björk but also as part of Warp Records' flagship act LFO, which always acknowledged their own debut to Depeche. Bell's ear for minimal, crisp beats and quick, subtle arrangements and changes suit Martin Gore's songs beautifully. If there are few storming arena-shaking numbers this time out, the exquisite delicacy throughout is addicting, with Gore's guitar providing slippery and stinging leads to the smoky, romantic flow of Exciter. "When the Body Speaks" is a particular winner, his gentle work and a backing string section combining just right. David Gahan's voice, already audibly benefiting from lessons on Ultra, is even more supple and passionate than before, ranging from the fuller delivery on the snaky charm of "Shine" to the haunting album-closer, "Goodnight Lovers," a romantic lullaby with perfect counterpoint backing vocals. Gore's own singing remains equally fine, as does his lyrical obsessions on, well, obsession -- "Breathe," which quotes more Bible names per verse than most preachers, makes for a good example on both fronts. When the band fully crank it up, the results work there too -- "The Dead of Night" makes for a far superior nod to Gore's glam roots and Depeche's own industrial dance descendants than Songs of Faith and Devotion's "Rush" did.

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Product Details

Release Date:
05/15/2001
Label:
Warner Bros Mod Afw
UPC:
0093624796022
catalogNumber:
47960
Rank:
76163

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. Dream On
  2. Shine
  3. The Sweetest Condition
  4. When the Body Speaks
  5. The Dead of Night
  6. Lovetheme
  7. Freelove
  8. Comatose
  9. I Feel Loved
  10. Breathe
  11. Easy Tiger
  12. I Am You
  13. Goodnight Lovers

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Album Credits

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