Exciter (Remastered Deluxe)
Over the years Depeche Mode’s renegade synth-heavy sound became the conventional standard and the band reformulated its own attack to include guitars and other standard instrumentation to compliment Martin Gore’s deceptively “pop” songwriting. The group’s sound envisions a dark, ominous future but its songs are often catchy and illuminatingly life-affirming even in their darkest hours. From the opening production quirks of “Dream On,” brought in part by outside producer Mark Bell, Depeche Mode is a most complete-sounding trio on this 2001 effort. Unlike many bands with two decades of service behind them, Depeche Mode shows no signs of nostalgia. These are present-day grooves and the spooky creep of “Shine,” the full-bore blast of “The Dead of Night,” the enveloping string section of “When the Body Speaks,” and the poignant album finale “Goodnight Lovers” highlight a band of musicians who have far from exhausted its creative inspirations. The Expanded Edition includes live tracks and remixes, including a moody remix of “Freelove” by Flood and an acoustic version of “When the Body Speaks” that further compliment this exemplary release.