Home Read Classic Album Review: Depeche Mode | Exciter

Classic Album Review: Depeche Mode | Exciter

The synth-pop pioneers' 10th studio album seems informed by their darker times.


This came out in 2001 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


Although it’s only been four years since their last disc, Depeche Mode CDs always seem like comeback albums.

Maybe it’s because the synth-pop icons spent most of the ’90s self-destructing — members came and went, while singer David Gahan battled back from both heroin addiction and a suicide attempt. Those dark times seem to inform much of their 10th set Exciter, which could be one of the most inappropriately (or perhaps sarcastically) titled albums of late. Dark, moody, bruised, brooding, dreamy, dreary, narcotic, tragic, romantic and woozy are just a few of the adjectives I scribbled down while listening to the burnished electro-soul of Dream On (not to be confused with the Aerosmith song) and Shine (not to be confused with the Collective Soul song). Not every one of these 13 cuts is a downer — the buzzy boogie of Dead Of Night bumps ’n’ grinds like Iggy’s Nightclubbing; the torchy Comatose is what Barry Manilow would sound like with a synthesizer and a drug habit; and I Feel Loved is a dark night of the soul set in a disco. All in all, it may not be exciting, but it sure qualifies as enticing.