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Exciter

3.7 out of 5 stars 403 customer reviews

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Audio CD, May 15, 2001
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Exciter by Depeche Mode

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One of Depeche Mode's greatest strengths is also their greatest weakness. The band comes up with some of pop music's most inventive lyrics, and at the same time, they always give the impression that they'll arbitrarily sing about anything, as long as it's depressing. But on Exciter there's an autobiography in the lyrics that, for the first time, strikes a chord with skeptics and believers alike. Singer David Gahan's battle with addiction and its horrendous pitfalls took its toll in DM's 1990s releases; Songs of Faith and Devotion failed to measure up to their groundbreaking albums of the '80s, and Ultra found songwriter Martin Gore less inspired, and a hoarse Gahan incapable of delivering his signature clear and booming vocals. Mercifully, the band has exorcised the demons and produced an album that places them squarely back on track. The opener, "Dream On," is a close cousin to "Personal Jesus," combining earthy guitar with electrified, pulsating synths. The track's physical and metaphorical imagery poignantly relays the karmic revolution of living the fast life. The brilliant, mesmerizing monster of a tune, "The Dead of Night," swaggers with a giant, crushing industrial beat like a Nine Inch Nails song dressed in glamorous drag, while the ballads "Shine" and "Freelove" are as beautiful as the classic "Somebody" (but entirely unburdened by saccharine sentimentality). Gore's keen ear for shimmering sonics and bellowing rhythm reinvigorates the Depeche Mode-branded synth-pop that's remained unique for the last 20 years. In all, Exciter is a stunning return to form, and a triumph by every definition. --Beth Massa

Track Listings

Disc: 1

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


Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 15, 2001)
  • Original Release Date: 2001
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Wea/Warner Brothers
  • Run Time: 57 minutes
  • ASIN: B00005BL2A
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (403 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #69,865 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I don't think any album has ever grown on me quite like Exciter has. And I don't believe that time has simply made it more palatable - I'm pretty sure now in retrospect that the main reason I was initially disappointed was because it followed my favorite DM album, Ultra, so the bar was impossibly high. Also, it's undeniably more subdued than the previous albums. I love mellow stuff, but I wasn't expecting it, so it took me a little by surprise.

Fast forward a half dozen years and now this is one of the DM albums I find myself going back to the most. I absolutely love it, and can't believe there was ever a time I didn't. I love that this album is different from the others in that it's the most low-key and romantic. It's such a beautiful album, and showcases elements of this great band that are not necessarily highlighted in other albums. The only song I still don't love is "Breathe," but even that one I like a lot more than I used to. On the other hand, I think "Comatose" is one of the best Gore-sung tracks in their entire catalog (bizarre as it is). "Dream On," "Shine," "When the Body Speaks," "Dead of Night," "Freelove," "I Feel Loved," "I Am You," and "Goodnight Lovers" are every bit as good as all the classics. The production on this album is superb, and often reminiscent of Bjork's Vespertine.

If you gave up on this album early on and tossed it aside, calling it crap, I suggest popping it in sometime (preferably on a beautiful summer night) and giving it another chance. You may find that with the passage of time, you have changed your mind.
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Format: Audio CD
Maybe it was because I expected a more danceable, synthpoppy album. I said, what the hell is this and I didn't care to listen to it any more as I had also the CD singles of Dream On, I Feel Loved and the magnificent Freelove. It was not long ago that I took the time to listen again to this album and really have to say now that this is one of DM's best albums. I just can't stop hearing songs like Breathe or Goodnight Lovers. This is DM's at a very special phase that we may not hear again. Those two songs (Breathe or Goodnight Lovers) actually doesnt't sound very DM as one could say but has such emotion, such soul that now I feel like I have found a treasure and plan to enjoy it forever. Martin Gore is such a genius.
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Format: Audio CD
What is typical of DM music? Old fans will probably say: heavy synth arrangement, catchy rhythm, lyrics that doesn't really make sense but rhymes perfectly. However, this conventional understanding of DM music does not apply to this album...not at all. In 'Exciter', DM abandons its trademark style that has made it so popular during the 80s and 90s to experiment with a more ambient and moodier synth arrangement that has a touch of industrial, rock and even jazz. On the first listening, old fans will probably feel betrayed and disappointed. Gone are the dancy synth rhythms. The whole album is dominated by slower tracks with the exception of the industrial-sounding 'The Dead of Night' (an 'I Feel You' sounding track which almost has a touch of N.I.N) and the only upbeat tune ('I Feel Loved') which actually sounds nothing like their traditional fast tunes. Nonetheless, this album builds slowly upon the listener. The moody arrangement on 'Dream On', 'When the Body Speaks', 'Freelove' and 'Goodnight Lovers' actually works perfectly with Dave's voice. 'Breathe' is also an interesting track featuring Martin on vocals with a jazzy background. On the whole, this album presents a fresh new sound for DM, except it's a 'moodier' Mode rather than an 'exciter'.
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Format: Audio CD
I never thought they would top "Some Great Reward","Black Celebration" or "Violator". It is probably too soon to say, but I think this could end up as my favorite Depeche c.d. Three weeks after "Exciter" was released I am even more into it. "Dream On", the first song, is still getting better with each listen. It's kind of a cross between "World In My Eyes" and "Personal Jesus". Also, I've yet to hear a bad remix of this song. "Shine", "The Sweetest Condition" and "When The Body Speaks" are all above average mid-tempo songs. "The Dead Of Night" took me a few listens to decide on. It stops just short of being kind of silly. Also, by this point on the c.d. you'll be wondering why this c.d. was reported as being largely acoustic. This c.d. contains more electronic blips and bleeps than I've ever heard on a Depeche album. "Freelove"-Good song. "Comatose" is the other song I had to listen to several times. Now I look forward to this song. Martin sings this one and the music otherworldly. "I Feel Loved" will make it hard to argue that Depeche is not a dance band if it is the next single. It may be the danciest song they've ever recorded. "Breathe", another Martin vocal, is an excellent song. It does have the feel of a torch song. "I Am You" has a surging bass line going underneath a mellow song. My favorite moments on the whole album are at the end of this song. After the final words are sung majestic strings swell up out of nowhere and then give way to a sound that still makes my dogs run from the room. The final song, "Goodnight Lovers" has a classic D.M. feel.Read more ›
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