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Playing The Angel (2XLP 180 Gram Vinyl)

370 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Starting with the albums Some Great Reward, Music For The Masses, Songs Of Faith And Devotion, and Black Celebration, the trail of releases continues with A Broken Flame, Ultra, Construction Time Again, and Violator and ends with Speak And Spell, Exciter, Playing The Angel, and Sounds Of The Universe. The albums come in gatefold sleeves with thick slabs of 180 gram black audiophile vinyl, all containing inserts and liner notes.
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Product Details

  • Vinyl (May 27, 2014)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Rhino
  • ASIN: B00I60VXK2
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (370 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,276 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

226 of 258 people found the following review helpful By CoryRay on October 18, 2005
Format: Audio CD
It was not an incredibly difficult feat for DM to surpass the ironically-titled (yet underrated in my opinion) Exciter, but little did we know that they would surpass most of our expectations to this degree. This album rocks. Overall, it's their darkest album yet, especially following the somewhat sweet and tender mood of Exciter.

I don't normally do this, but here's a track by track:

1) "A Pain That I'm Used To" - A great intro track with definite NIN influence. Soft, dark, electronic beats that explode into a cacophony of loud guitars at the chorus. I heard this is going to be the second single.

2) "John The Revelator" - Influenced by a classic gospel track of the same name, this would have fit beautifully on Songs of Faith & Devotion. A heavy electro beat with Dave's preachy, aggressive vocals and a gospel choir that joins in at the chorus. My immediate favorite. I really hope this one becomes a single.

3) "Suffer Well" - The first of three songs written by Dave Gahan instead of Martin Gore (a first for DM). More than worthy of the Depeche Mode moniker, this is another favorite of mine. It's fast and catchy and very reminiscent of old-school pre-Violator DM. Reminds me of "Behind The Wheel."

4) "The Sinner In Me" - Another NIN-esque track. Dark and moody. Awesome synth line. I love it.

5) "Precious" - The first single. Also reminiscent of older DM - a very catchy song with a nice beat, a cool guitar part, and Dave's smooth vocals. For some reason I like this song a lot better within the context of the whole album. A very worthy first single. Many are saying it's one of the best singles of their career. I can't argue with that.

6) "Macro" - The first of the obligatory Martin Gore ballads.
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65 of 77 people found the following review helpful By Low-Ranking Reviewer on October 20, 2005
Format: Audio CD
This ain't a 5-star release nor a "Violator", but anything less than 3-stars are probably from non-DM fans trying to get a rise out of real DM fans. The first half of the cd mostly contain the more 'upbeat'(as in mid-tempo for DM) songs that all sound really good and are immediately accessible, esp 1,2,3,4,&5. The second half mostly contain the slower songs which are less accessible and requires more listenings to in order to let them sink in and judge them on their own merits; and these are the songs that will probably make or break this release as either 'just another good effort' or 'slightly underrated classic'. All of us can agree to what an up-tempo song has to offer, but all of us will have a different take on a slower song that requires us to take in the lyrics and music more at our own pace.

People putting this cd down off the bat after one or two listens should not be taken seriously. This is a good release as it stands now, with a potential to be even better later down the road. But even if I don't find another personal favorite 'ballad' along the lines of "Somebody", "Home" or "Waiting for the Night" in the second half of this cd in the near future(i actually had trouble with those 3 on first listenings, now all three are personal faves esp "Home"); I still stand by the 4-star rating. For me, the first half is good enough to compensate for the second half. If only there had been a few upbeat 'bonus' remixes at the end to offset the slower second half this might've even been a 5-star release(but i guess that's what cd maxi-singles are for). Btw, is anyone else freaked out by the cd cover? Reminds me of the zulu/zuni(?) fetish doll from that "Trilogy of Terror" horror movie back in the 80's. Spooky.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Mr. VINE VOICE on October 25, 2005
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Well, DM's 11th studio album: "Playing The Angel", is out, and as always, there's much debate amongst the fans on how it measures up. It's an album that definitely requires multiple listens to truly appreciate what it has to offer. Dave Gahan gets his first crack at writing for a depeche mode album and, now having Paper Monsters under his belt, doesn't waste the opportunity, with "Suffer Well" (gotta love that guitar riff) & "Nothing's Impossible" being two of the best songs on the album. He's never sounded better. Martin Gore's "Precious" is a standout song all its own (and is the first from the album to obtain single status). No doubt one of the most private and personal songs of his career, dealing with his own divorce and having to handle how it affects his children.

"A Pain That I'm Used To" is the opening song that grabs your attention, at first, with a loud noise (like was done with "I Feel You" or, yes, "The Dead Of Night"). It really prepares you for what lies in store, with it's very bleak and moody electronic broodery, that has a nice beat to it. "John The Revelator" & "The Sinner In Me" are the two most religiously referenced tracks on the album ("JTR" is also very danceable too). It's interesting how Martin perceives religion in his songs, considering he himself has never admitted to being very religious. "TSIM" also contains another guitar riff by Martin towards the end of the song, that sounds a bit erratic in certain spots, but is still quite cool and very catchy.

Like just about every DM album since Some Great Reward (save Black Celebration), Martin takes on lead vocals for two songs for this album: "Macro" & "Damaged People".
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Playing The Angel (2XLP 180 Gram Vinyl)
This item: Playing The Angel (2XLP 180 Gram Vinyl)
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