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Exciter [Rhino US CD/DVD]

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Depeche Mode 10/2/2007

Review

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. [Rhino issued a CD/DVD edition of the album in 2007. The first disc contains the album in remastered form; the second disc provides the album in 5.1 sound, a short film, and several bonus tracks.] ~ Ned Raggett
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  1. # Track Artist Length
  2. 1 Dream On Depeche Mode 4:17
  3. 2 Shine Depeche Mode 5:33
  4. 3 The Sweetest Condition Depeche Mode 3:37
  5. 4 When the Body Speaks Depeche Mode 5:57
  6. 5 The Dead of Night Depeche Mode 4:47
  7. 6 Lovetheme Depeche Mode 1:59
  8. 7 Freelove Depeche Mode 6:6
  9. 8 Comatose Depeche Mode 3:18
  10. 9 I Feel Loved Depeche Mode 4:15
  11. 10 Breathe Depeche Mode 5:12
  12. 11 Easy Tiger Depeche Mode 2:5
  13. 12 I Am You Depeche Mode 5:5
  14. 13 Goodnight Lovers Depeche Mode 3:46
  15. 14 The Dead of Night Depeche Mode 5:14
  16. 15 The Sweetest Condition (Live in Paris, October 2001) Depeche Mode 3:59
  17. 16 Dream On (Live in Paris, October 2001) Depeche Mode 5:39
  18. 17 When The Body Speaks (Live in Paris, October 2001) Depeche Mode 7:4
  19. 18 Breathe (Live in Paris, October 2001) Depeche Mode 5:20
  20. 19 Freelove (Live in Paris, October 2001) Depeche Mode 7:32
  21. 20 Easy Tiger [Full Version] Depeche Mode 4:53
  22. 21 Dirt Depeche Mode 4:55
  23. 22 Freelove [Flood Mix] Depeche Mode 3:58
  24. 23 Zenstation Depeche Mode 6:23
  25. 24 When the Body Speaks [Acoustic Version] Depeche Mode 5:57
  26. 1 Dream On [5.1 and Stereo][DVD] Depeche Mode null:null
  27. 2 Shine [DVD][5.1 and Stereo] Depeche Mode null:null
  28. 3 The Sweetest Condition [5.1 and Stereo][DVD] Depeche Mode null:null
  29. 4 When the Body Speaks [DVD][5.1 and Stereo] Depeche Mode null:null
  30. 5 The Dead of Night [5.1 and Stereo][DVD] Depeche Mode null:null
  31. 6 Lovetheme [5.1 and Stereo][DVD] Depeche Mode null:null
  32. 7 Freelove [DVD][5.1 and Stereo] Depeche Mode null:null
  33. 8 Comatose [DVD][5.1 and Stereo] Depeche Mode null:null
  34. 9 I Feel Loved [5.1 and Stereo][DVD] Depeche Mode null:null
  35. 10 Breathe [DVD][5.1 and Stereo] Depeche Mode null:null
  36. 11 Easy Tiger [5.1 and Stereo][DVD] Depeche Mode null:null
  37. 12 I Am You [5.1 and Stereo][DVD] Depeche Mode null:null
  38. 13 Goodnight Lovers [5.1 and Stereo][DVD] Depeche Mode null:null
  39. 14 The Dead of Night [DVD] Depeche Mode null:null
  40. 15 The Sweetest Condition [DVD] Depeche Mode null:null
  41. 16 Dream On [DVD] Depeche Mode null:null
  42. 17 When the Body Speaks [DVD] Depeche Mode null:null
  43. 18 Breathe [DVD] Depeche Mode null:null
  44. 19 Freelove [DVD] Depeche Mode null:null
  45. 20 Easy Tiger [DVD][Full Version] Depeche Mode null:null
  46. 21 Dirt [DVD] Depeche Mode null:null
  47. 22 Zenstation [DVD] Depeche Mode null:null
  48. 23 When the Body Speaks [Acoustic Version][DVD] Depeche Mode null:null
  49. 24 [Bonus Material][DVD] Depeche Mode null:null

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