on 21 May 2001
Exciter is very different from previous albums which is probably why some fans don't like it, but life would be boring if DM just stayed writing the same songs in the same style of SOFAD and Ultra (even though they are great). DM don't ever really come under a music category anyway so it's impossible they can stick to one style like the pop of Violator or rock of SOFAD.
Exciter is very fresh and innovative, with brilliant vocals, lyrics and interesting effects such as the guitars in Dream On. It is definitely an album that grows on you, but the quality of the songs 'shine' through and there is so much depth in the songs that you hear more each time you listen to them.
Overall this is a brilliant album and is in no way a let down - they have shifted their style again and done it brilliantly.
on 9 January 2010
With Alan Wilder long gone, the edge
has vanished from Depeche Mode.
Alot of the songs appear over done
in production where obvious slow lyric
songs get airbrushed with heavy handed
synth sound effects that sit awkardly
with the mix.
They try to apply ULTRA's after glow
into this album and it doesn't work.
Like watching a TURNER painting melt
into a DALI.
'Dream On' is a good start but then
I didn't enjoy the songs in between
until 'Freelove' rescues the pace of
the whole project.
The other highlights of the album
are 'I Feel Loved' which is a great
dance beat number which is one of a
few Depeche Mode get right.
Final song 'Goodnight Lovers' is a
very lovely ballad with a soft gospel
vocal harmony complimenting Dave
Gahan's musing about the pain of love.
(Most of the time I felt the group
weren't sure how to present these
songs, it looked like they were
turning the dial of a radio trying
to pick any reception they could find
and unfortunately picking out some
stations with too much static).
Thankfully by the time they made their
next album (Playing The Angel) they've
ironed out their faults.
It did surprise me that all the time
they've been recording their music that
they could drop in standard as low as this.
on 18 May 2001
Having listened to the samples on their website I thought this would be a curate's egg but I was pleasantly surprised - another classic album from the Basildon three.
It is slower than the previous three outings and top heavy with ballads so it won't be everyone's cup of tea. Despite the fact that there are no recognisable hits the album is quality from start to finish. The melodies are beautifully crafted and Dave has never sung better.
If I have one criticism - it is releasing Dream On as a single - it is the most tuneless track on the album. "Dead of night" made me laugh - sounds like a cross between Gary Glitter and Gary Numan. Surely they weren't being serious? Were they?
on 18 June 2009
I have loved much of DM since day one but never went as far as owning an album of theirs until Ultra, which blew me away. I guess my expectation for the follow-up (especially given the title 'Exciter')was more chunky, gutsy anthemic songs with a couple of more filmic, esoteric numbers towards the end. What I felt at the time was underwhelmed! About the only thing I liked was the cover art and I Feel Loved. The title was so mismatched with the music that followed. The whole thing felt weak, with naff lyrics and even a couple of instrumental interludes that felt like a cop out. What had happened to DM? I traded in the CD at a second-hand shop. In 2007 with the release of the entire DM catalogue of albums on SACD/DVD with 5.1 mixes and extras I decided to finally add DM to my collection in a big way with the exception of the first two albums (that I may yet investigate) and that dreadful Exciter album. Then...One night, a month ago, watching a music video show on TV, on came DM with this grunty track called I Feel Loved. How come I didn't have that in my collection? Was that the one good track I vaguely remembered off the album with the green cover? Maybe it was time to revisit Exciter? I read online reviews that shared my initial feelings towards the album but thought maybe 8 years down the track my ears would give Exciter a better reception. I'm glad I have given it another go. It's an album that you need to lay down on the lounge and listen to with your eyes closed to really get into it. Not one for listening to in the car. Now, being able to immerse yourself in the surround sound mix helps too! There is much to like on Exciter but it is like entering a movie soundtrack and taking the journey through the soundscapes that reveals the, at first, hidden or missing joys. It's different to many other DM works, much more sonically sparse in parts and of much greater quality and value than I gave it credit for upon initial release. Maybe I just needed to be 8 years older to appreciate it. Maybe it sounds richer because of the mastering and surround mix? Forgive me Depeche Mode...it was me, not you, that got it wrong.
on 31 July 2013
I got into the mode with the release of 'ultra'. From what I recall it was released around the time of 'adore'. Of all their music, I really like that one. I like strong song writing coupled with a dark synth. With the release of 'Delta Machine' I'd listened to pretty much everything DM had released except for 'sounds', gone off them and disposed of all their music, until the release of their latest rekindled my love for them and I saw them live where they rocked. Maybe it's just because of it's fresh production and the foregroudning of Martin's fabulous guitar playing, but i like seven of the tracks off Delta Machine. It is by far their most well rounded album. It's almost perfectly realised and they are clearly very proud of it.
DM is one of those bands that needs editing. When he's on form Martin Gore is an exceptionally talented songwriter, as well as singer and guitarist, but he can write a stinker. If you delete the turkeys you are left with several very solid tracks. I recently picked up 'Sounds' for a couple of quid. Of those maybe 'wrong' and 'in sympathy' are the only ones that will stand the test of time. I picture a sophisticated older lady at a large gathering every time i listen to the latter. Having missed their sexy warm synth sound, favouring a more organic acoustic guitar flavour of late, i went back through their back catalogue. After 'Delta' my favourite is still 'ultra' with six tracks i like from that one (barrel of a gun, the love thieves, it's no good, uselink, useless, insight). I think I was too young to appreciate 'the love thieves' and 'insight' at time of release. It also has my favourite videos. I think it's their closest to an Essex sound. After editing 'exciter' there are only five tracks i like, but those five are the most chilled out and sophisticated they have ever sounded (free love, i feel loved, goodnight lovers, dream on, when the body speaks). It's definitely their lovers album. I think people misconstrue the album cover. It's not extreme sports excitement, it's sexual excitement. Very seductive. Mark Bell's production remains the freshest today of all the albums aside from the latest. (I've recently returned to bjork and his work with lfo leaves most modern electronic music in the dust). I can't listen to anything pre violator, although 'music for the masses' is their most classic from that period. the production just doesn't stand up to everything else i listen to. I've grown tired of 'violator' and only really like 'the policy of truth' and 'waiting for the night' now, and maybe 'the sweetest perfection' for its weird phasing, although that has embarrassing personal connotations for me, which have nothing to do with the band. Although it's a well produced album, 'nothing's impossible' is the only track i like from 'playing the angel'. I don't like them to be too overtly Christian, which might ultimately put me off their latest release. As I have matured, I care less for clever electronics and more about good songwriting and the quality of dave's voice (plus martin's bluesy guitar). It's their downtempo tracks that have stood the test of time and are most suited to the band as they age gracefully. They should definitely do some small venue downtempo gigs.
on 6 April 2006
i have recently returned to exciter as i didn't think much of it at first and i appreciate it a lot more now. like other dm albums the style is very different. ultra is quite possibly my favourite dm album so following it would of been very hard but there hadn't been a quiet and mellow mode yet and this album fills that gap. tracks like "dream on" and "freelove" are great and "shine" is becoming one of my all time favourite dm songs. fans of brian eno and radiohead's "amnesiac" album will love this. the sound is ambient and soulful and dave gahan's vocals are more rich and soothing as ever. dm fans, please go back to it!
on 23 January 2010
Like every Depeche Mode album, I was looking forward to this release. Dream On was definitely a grower after a couple of listens and the album seems much more positive than previous releases. Apparently Martin Gore had difficulties churning out material for this album, and it shows in tracks such as 'Comatose' and 'Shine'. Dave Gahan's vocals however are the highlight of this album. Tracks such as 'Freelove', 'When The Body Speaks', 'Goodnight Lovers' are excellent examples. Years later (after hearing PTA and SOTU) this album severely lacks the punch of powerful drums and bass, therefore it will always be the chillout DM album for me. The production is fantastic in parts (i.e.'Freelove'), but overall (with the exception of 'The Dead Of Night' and 'I Feel Loved') this album delves a lot on the slower paced tempos. A good album, but not their best.
on 21 June 2013
Yes the influence of Mark Bell can be heard on this album veeeery well. And that means to me as a result the "least DMish" DM album. To the goodness of it. If I ever got tired of typical DM albums (very unlikely indeed) I would definitely grab this one for a refreshment.
on 31 July 2015
Exciter by Depeche Mode is another cd that is part of my husband’s collection (which he first purchased when he was still stationed in Iceland via the navy through 2001-2002). The Exciter collection starts out with an optimistic vibe via Dream On. I Feel Loved is also another tune that touches on a more hopeful type of meaning, as a way of the benefits of feeling loved through both challenging and good times. Exciter by Depeche Mode is a spellbinding type of alternative rock music collection that can leave an eclectic music listener with the enjoyment of getting different meanings and/or deeper meanings from the songs each time they listen to a music set such as Exciter.
on 16 May 2001
I think's this DM album is one of their best, up there with Black Celebration, Violator, and Ultra. Distinctly electronic, but with a different feel then the previous album (as usual). I really like the direction Depeche Mode has gone in this album, opting for a gentler approach than normal, but still throwing in a couple hard rock stuff.
The songs on the album are very good and high quality. "Shine" was a very nice surpirse. I enjoyed this ballad very much - the sample on the website doesn't nearly do it justice. The same goes for "I Feel Loved", probably the only pop/rock song on the album. I'd have to say that, so far, my favourite songs on the album are "Shine", "When The Body Speaks", "The Dead Of Night", "Freelove", and "Comatose", while "The Sweetest Condition" and "Breathe" I didn't enjoy as much as the others. I also thought "Dream On" could have used a bit more of a push in it's sound - as it is, it sounds kind of empty, but I still like it very much.
The only disappointments on the album are probably the instrumentals, "Lovetheme" and "Easy Tiger". They're simply too short to have any kind of impact. They start off really well, but then sound as if they get cut off just as they're getting to the good part. I hope the full version of "Easy Tiger" on the "Dream On" single is a little better.
But despite everything, this is a truly amazing album, and recommend everyone to check it out, especially all you closet DM fans out there! Though, I have a feeling that the DM fans from the 80s will like this less so than those of us who became fans in the 90s...:P