Playing The Angel

  • Record Label: Reprise
  • Release Date: Oct 18, 2005
User Score
8.9

Universal acclaim- based on 199 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 5 out of 199

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  1. CalvinW
    Oct 22, 2005
    4
    I feel that this album gives listeners 4 songs at best that are listenable. "A Pian That I'm Used To", "Macro", and "Precious" are basic DM materials referenced from stuff we have heard before. "Damaged People" is really the only true songwriting tid bit that gives DM fans anything new to hear. Overall, like "Exciter", there is decent production; however, I fail to see any strength I feel that this album gives listeners 4 songs at best that are listenable. "A Pian That I'm Used To", "Macro", and "Precious" are basic DM materials referenced from stuff we have heard before. "Damaged People" is really the only true songwriting tid bit that gives DM fans anything new to hear. Overall, like "Exciter", there is decent production; however, I fail to see any strength in songwriting and timeless tunes.Let's face reality, and realize that they NEED Adam Wilder back. He tends to lend DM great masterpieces that pushed Gore and Gahan further. I try not to live in the past, but I defy anyone to say that "Exciter" or "Playing The Angels" best three songs on either album even match up or compare to half as great of melodies we heard on "Violater" or "Music for the Masses". My Breakdown. "John The Revelator", "Lilian" and "Nothing's Impossible" are all disposable DM works. I don't have a clue as to what type of songwriting or lyrics were going on in those tracks. They just seemed packaged as if to tell the world, here is some songs to passify you until the next batch of songs. I really enjoy DM, but they really need to stop being lazy and start focusing on good sound songwriting. Songs 3, 4, and 12 are okay, but I can honestly say that I wouldn't miss these tracks if I never heard them again. I expect more from these guys... Rolling Stones is being generous on their score as far as I'm concerned. "They're milking us!!! They're milking us!!!" Expand
  2. BrianK
    Oct 23, 2005
    6
    The first half of the cd is spectacular. Truly the best DM since Violator. Then, it goes awry in a wash of down-tempo pretentiousness. Bad down-tempo pretentiousness. Thank god for Moenia, who have released the best 'Depeche Mode-style' albums of the last 8 years and in Spanish, no less!
  3. NicolaiP
    Oct 27, 2005
    4
    Only 3 quality tracks, and the mastering is HARSH. Louder and harsher doesn't mean edgier!
  4. MarkC
    Oct 26, 2005
    5
    I must say i have been to depeche modes concerts twice now (EXCITER and SOFAD) and they were both amazing and i couldnt wait to go there next concert for Playing the Angel but i am changing my mind now i loved the song precious. But when i heard the Build up i though that it would be like violator as precious definately doe's sound like a birth from Enjoy the Silence. But when i I must say i have been to depeche modes concerts twice now (EXCITER and SOFAD) and they were both amazing and i couldnt wait to go there next concert for Playing the Angel but i am changing my mind now i loved the song precious. But when i heard the Build up i though that it would be like violator as precious definately doe's sound like a birth from Enjoy the Silence. But when i heard it iit usually takes a while for me to get into the album and even then i could not understand alot of the songs i am a massive depeche mode fan and i just felt like the songs were thrown together in one big mess the melodys didn't come together the lyrics were meaningless. Of the albums that didn't get good reviews which was ULTRA turned out to be there best for 10 years Now that was a quality album. But this !!!!!!!! I just thing Depeche have lost the edge..... IUm sorry boys but ever go back to basics or give up its better to Burn out than to Fade away. And i don't want DM to fade away. If you want a good album which gets fuck all reviews buy New Orders Waiting for the sirens call 10 out of 10 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Expand
  5. RayM
    Oct 28, 2005
    4
    The first half of this CD works for me but after track 5 I just lose interest. Not great, but not bad either. My one pet peeve with this record is that my favorite track, the sinner in me, is based totally on a Crystal Method sample.....oh well maybe I'm just getting old and expected something a little closer to Violator....
  6. alexisd
    Oct 29, 2005
    6
    Everytime I listen to it it gets better. i have been a huge depeche mode fan for about 14 years and have to say that i got a little lost with ultra, but definitely ended up understanding with a few listens. Next comes exciter, and it just never caught with me, i liked select songs, but it felt so forced to me. With Playing the Angel I am enjoying them again to the fullest. What I like Everytime I listen to it it gets better. i have been a huge depeche mode fan for about 14 years and have to say that i got a little lost with ultra, but definitely ended up understanding with a few listens. Next comes exciter, and it just never caught with me, i liked select songs, but it felt so forced to me. With Playing the Angel I am enjoying them again to the fullest. What I like most is the return to layered lush sounding production which with each listen so much more is discovered. Favorite songs on the cd...jeez its so hard to pick because the cd as a whole flows so well. I love the bombastic John the Revelator...a great mix of glam, gospel and an almost eighties hook that just makes me want to play it over and over. I Want It All, also a favorite, a sweet song with interesting melodies. Anyone who is into passive music that doesnt take too much to understand will not like this. This is an intelligent listen. And my favorite since Songs of Faith and Devotion Expand
  7. slawekk
    Oct 30, 2005
    5
    rather a dissapointment - yes there are a few great songs, but still we could have expected a much better album. after a great "exciter" this one is simply uneven...
  8. BrookeO.
    Aug 14, 2007
    4
    Overrated! "Precious" is there best track in a long time, but, past that, not much else on here to enjoy. I wish they would either hook back up w Alan or call it quits. DM are no longer relevent to anything or anyone, save themselves and their bank account.
  9. emptycans
    Oct 19, 2005
    6
    alan wilder-irreplacebale :(
  10. LouiseS
    Aug 25, 2007
    4
    I'm really dissapointed. sounds like adults trying to tell what it's like being a teenager, they've simply lost it.
Metascore
78

Generally favorable reviews - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 22
  2. Negative: 0 out of 22
  1. Like the best Depeche Mode, almost everything on the album will make an initial wowing impact while remaining layered enough in subtle details to surprise and thrill with repeated listens.
  2. Revels in dirty guitars and fuzzy distortion while maintaining Depeche Mode's familiar electronic sound. [22 Oct 2005]
  3. 86
    It's got all the allure of classic D-Mode, but there's that lingering hint of taking oneself a tad too seriously. [#17, p.97]