Depeche Mode - Violator
Critic Score
Based on 7 reviews
1990 Ratings: #78 / 306
User Score
Based on 438 ratings
1990 Ratings: #6
Liked by 24 people
March 19, 1990 / Release Date
LP / Format
Mute / Label
Synthpop, New Wave / Genres
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Goth without ever being stupidly hammy, synth without sounding like the clinical stereotype of synth music, rock without ever sounding like a "rock" band, Depeche here reach astounding heights indeed.

The Guardian

It was also their best, encasing Martin Gore's favourite tropes - guilt, salvation, obsession and the virtues of keeping your mouth shut - in production as black and shiny as a beetle's shell.

Slant Magazine

The reason Depeche Mode’s Violator is a quintessential benchmark of pop, rock and electronic music is because it marries dance, goth-rock and synth-pop with good ol’ fashioned Motown funk and rock n’ roll so seamlessly.


In carrying its context with it-- and in being somewhat critical to today’s pop-- Violator just stands as a moving, solid, record, a classic for the archives of popular music; it doesn’t so much carry a lot of the things that made Depeche Mode feel so much themselves.

Entertainment Weekly

On Violator ... their music is more varied than catchy pop needs to be.

Rolling Stone

Depeche Mode's more tranquil hymns do have an ambient charm. But when the boys in the band try to make you dance, they revert to morose pop psychology and then never tell you how come they're so sad.

{SJO 50}

Interview with my dad:

"You like Depeche Mode?"


Is there a single person who hates the album? Every chorus is iconic. I've never even heard the whole thing and I remembered every word from the chorus before it even started. It's minimalist in the best way, where everything builds up to these sweeping choruses that sound as if you're towering over a city and dancing on the clouds. This album is MADE to listen to with your friends on a road trip. My ... read more
SJO4 Counter: 49

damn... maybe boomer pop is... good?

im kidding of course, music is music. i have a ton, a TON of nostalgia for a lot of Depeche Mode's discography. my parents have a Pandora station (side thought, remember Pandora? good days) called "Love Shack Radio," based off the B-52s track, but it could basically just be renamed 80s Pop n New Wave and that'd be just as accurate. Depeche Mode plays A TON there, and it's been playing for about as long as i can remember, so these ... read more
This album may be considered the perfect farewell to the 80s sound and a welcoming to what was to come from the 90s. This is a dark, sullen take on the new wave/synth pop sound that is outrageously catchy but almost in spite of the listener. It's as though you are meant to dance and feel yourself in the music, only to then realize you've fallen into a pit of despair and you have no way out. The production on this album alone would make it stand out from the rest of the pack, but the time of its ... read more
The group finally touches the desirable, personal perfection, waving halo to the blue night under the silence of a world that moves naked and clean towards the truth.
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Track List

  1. World in My Eyes
  2. Sweetest Perfection
  3. Personal Jesus
  4. Halo
  5. Waiting for the Night
  6. Enjoy the Silence
  7. Interlude #2 – Crucified
  8. Policy of Truth
  9. Blue Dress
  10. Interlude #3
  11. Clean
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Added on: January 12, 2013