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

Universal acclaim- based on 218 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 5 out of 218

Review this album

  1. Your Score
    0 out of 10
    Rate this:
    • 10
    • 9
    • 8
    • 7
    • 6
    • 5
    • 4
    • 3
    • 2
    • 1
    • 0
    • 0
  1. Submit
  2. Check Spelling
  1. NikD
    Oct 17, 2005
    10
    it is just an amazing piece of work, you need to listen a few times and then you get really addicted to it !! let the electricity flow...
  2. HapF
    Oct 18, 2005
    10
    Incredible. DM at purely great form.
  3. AramisG
    Oct 18, 2005
    10
    A really solid album. It just pisses me off thinking it is going to take another 5 yrs to get more material out of these guys when this album is so good. Sounds like they have been listening to some of the bands they influenced (Xiu Xiu, etc.).
  4. Alex
    Oct 18, 2005
    9
    The best album after Violator. New sound challenges and still sounds like Depeche Mode.
  5. GoranM
    Oct 18, 2005
    10
    it is a beautiful and mesmerising...true DM
  6. Ian
    Oct 19, 2005
    9
    Shades of Construction Time Again and Speak and Spell - they really went back to their roots for a lot of the sound here.
  7. emptycans
    Oct 19, 2005
    6
    alan wilder-irreplacebale :(
  8. omarc
    Oct 19, 2005
    9
    Thank god! I was worried there for a bit. Depeche seemed to slide in the post Alan Wilder era. But this album is a return to form for the crew from basildon. Nicely done. It's like the band took a song from every album past and grafted on the theme. John the Revelator a cross between Pleasure, Little Treasure and Personal Jesus. The SInner in Me born of Rush. Precious in the style of Thank god! I was worried there for a bit. Depeche seemed to slide in the post Alan Wilder era. But this album is a return to form for the crew from basildon. Nicely done. It's like the band took a song from every album past and grafted on the theme. John the Revelator a cross between Pleasure, Little Treasure and Personal Jesus. The SInner in Me born of Rush. Precious in the style of enjoy the silence and it's no good. Expand
  9. joeb
    Oct 19, 2005
    7
    No way near Violator. Not too bad though..the band is missing the unique sound of Alan Wilder. Best since Violator though
  10. John
    Nov 9, 2005
    9
    DM is inventive once again meshing violator on to form " Playing the Angel."
  11. GermanC
    Oct 21, 2005
    8
    Muy buen cd.... todavia no pueden superar "musica para las masas" o "violador", pero estan arriba de "sonidos de fe y devocion" y de "ultra." La primera mitad del cd es increible... la segunda mitad baja el ritmo, mucho segun mi gusto, pero en general le doy 8 puntos. todavia siguen vivos y dando guerra.... aun son lo mejores del genero por lejos. Gerdmode
  12. igor
    Oct 21, 2005
    9
    well ... first impession was ... disturbed, crushed and fooled around again. After several rounds of listening - it's %^@#&^ great! I love it.
  13. RAYV
    Oct 21, 2005
    9
    One Of Depeche Mode s Great Albums Very Good As Always
  14. Endorphine
    Oct 22, 2005
    10
    Very vibrant and deeply layered music, that takes hold of your brain. Good to see a varied mix of songs this time, and more upbeat.
  15. SteveJ
    Dec 2, 2005
    10
    A truley incredible album. Like everyone else I agree their best since Violator. Also this is their best concert since world violation tour. I have no doubt that deeche mode is the greatest band ever to see live! I have seen bands like The Rollingstones, Matellica, Korn, Green Day, etc. Depeche Mode blows them away. Also I think that although depeche mode has never really been too A truley incredible album. Like everyone else I agree their best since Violator. Also this is their best concert since world violation tour. I have no doubt that deeche mode is the greatest band ever to see live! I have seen bands like The Rollingstones, Matellica, Korn, Green Day, etc. Depeche Mode blows them away. Also I think that although depeche mode has never really been too comercial and a household name like The Stones, U2, Beatles, Nirvana, etc. I really do pray that this will be their year to be recognized at the Grammys!! Some people say they are the kings of electronic music, I say they are the Beatles of Alternative music, Depeche Mode is truley in my opinion the Greatest Band in our generation!!! Expand
  16. JohnD
    Oct 25, 2005
    8
    Any band that can make the same song for 20 years and still make it sound great deserves at least a 7.
  17. skyew
    Oct 26, 2005
    10
    Ive really enjoyed this album and i just cant get enough!
  18. Bryan
    Oct 27, 2005
    9
    Theres something Wilder added that has been missing the past couple of albums. However PTA has brought back about 80% of that feeling I got when I was a teenager. And the best part is, as I was ready to give it thumbs down on the first couple of listens, now I'm beginning to think its pure genius. Everyone is talking about "suffer well" and its comparison to "behind the wheel", I Theres something Wilder added that has been missing the past couple of albums. However PTA has brought back about 80% of that feeling I got when I was a teenager. And the best part is, as I was ready to give it thumbs down on the first couple of listens, now I'm beginning to think its pure genius. Everyone is talking about "suffer well" and its comparison to "behind the wheel", I think its pure "Question Of Time" ingredients. Best tracks by far(not in any order) : John Revelator (Faith Devotion like track) :Suffer Well (Question of Time like) :Sinner in Me (Rocks) very (Violator "Clean" meets Music Masses) Nothing Impossible (Kicks ass, delivered chills) Damaged People: Awesome ("World Full of Nothing"/"Home" Gore Track..however "macro" sucks By the way, Precious sucks, doesnt even fit in this album..Wanna be "Enjoy the Silence" And it comes nothing close to the brillance of that track. Lillian couldve been better..but props up to Darkest Star..Weird track but haunted depeche like construction time days was half the reason I got into them. 9/10 Rating Expand
  19. BroderickH
    Oct 29, 2005
    9
    A band who have been recording for 25 years produce an album which is only bettered by their best, the absolute classics "...Masses" and "Violator". Not even Bowie, Ferry or Dylan can hold a candle to this.
  20. OskarS
    Nov 21, 2006
    10
    It made me feel emotions that I haven´t felt since 1990. Great collection of addictive songs..
  21. jg
    Feb 21, 2006
    10
    some of DM's best stuff!!!!!!
  22. time
    Oct 26, 2007
    0
    I freaking hate this band and any other of those goofy synth rock Richard Blade douche bags that passed around nothing but crap in the 80s. Thank God for Sonic Youth, the Pixies and the Mary Chain. This genre should have never made a comeback. Fortunately it was so obnoxious that the 90s is making an early comeback. Shoegaze killed synth and that's why it's my favorite genre. I freaking hate this band and any other of those goofy synth rock Richard Blade douche bags that passed around nothing but crap in the 80s. Thank God for Sonic Youth, the Pixies and the Mary Chain. This genre should have never made a comeback. Fortunately it was so obnoxious that the 90s is making an early comeback. Shoegaze killed synth and that's why it's my favorite genre. This was glorified garbage and nobody took it seriously. If they're so dark and gloomy they should have ended it all in their heyday and given up on this bullshit that passes of as music. Expand
  23. 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.
  24. TaninoM
    Nov 13, 2005
    10
    A great album by one of the best and most consistent bands in th world. My favourite tracks are Precious, John The Relevator, Nothing is Impossible and Lilian. A great reurn to form !
  25. MyosotisC
    Nov 17, 2005
    9
    This album is absolutely amazing! It's hard, dirty and synthy. The lyrics are awesome as the vocals and the melodies. The only bad thing is the instrumental Introspectre, why do they keep doing instrumental songs? You notice how good the melodies are in teh other songs. Otherwise from the alarm in A pain that I'm used to to the desperation of The darkest star: Enjoy, because it This album is absolutely amazing! It's hard, dirty and synthy. The lyrics are awesome as the vocals and the melodies. The only bad thing is the instrumental Introspectre, why do they keep doing instrumental songs? You notice how good the melodies are in teh other songs. Otherwise from the alarm in A pain that I'm used to to the desperation of The darkest star: Enjoy, because it doesn't get much better than this! Expand
  26. DavidZ
    Nov 18, 2005
    10
    Very enjoyable. A more industrial electronic sound than in recent albums. Martin's lyrics are thoughtful and interesting. I saw the live concert in Vancouver and it was excellent. It makes you realize how many great songs Depeche have written over the years. Best tracks Precious, Suffer Well (Dave Gahan wrote this - now I want to buy Paper Monsters CD) and the Darkest Star.
  27. AlexJ
    Nov 19, 2005
    10
    After several listens, I found my enjoyment growing and the emotional depths of DM's electronic layering as rich, unique and beautifully bizzare as any previous work of theirs that has endeared me so much to this group. Playing the Angel is full of fresh new sounds, providing an all too familiar sense of awe. How do they do it?
  28. LilianW
    Nov 26, 2005
    10
    ...I just cant get enough of Depeche Mode! Im really impressed with their new album...very very Depeche Mode-ish!! Cant express how honoured I felt (and still do -blush blush sigh sigh) seeing they came out with a song called Lilian.....with ONE L, too!! Now thats what I call justice in the world!!!
  29. jennifer
    Nov 26, 2005
    10
    doesn't get any better than this....live in san diego was awesome.
  30. erikam
    Dec 14, 2005
    10
    the best!!!
  31. RobertN
    Dec 28, 2005
    10
    Great album from a great band.
  32. Nov 13, 2011
    8
    Good album but overall sound quality is not so great-the sound is unbelievably loud and distorted but also kind of flat,with no natural dynamic range.
  33. Nov 29, 2012
    10
    While most recognize that DM began to ascend around Black Celebration and peaked somewhere between Violator and SoFaD, this is the blip in the flat line that makes you think there still may be some life left in them. Suffer Well, Nothing's Impossible, Precious...all brilliant. Even the b-sides from this album's singles rock. Get everything you can related to this album! Singles, TourWhile most recognize that DM began to ascend around Black Celebration and peaked somewhere between Violator and SoFaD, this is the blip in the flat line that makes you think there still may be some life left in them. Suffer Well, Nothing's Impossible, Precious...all brilliant. Even the b-sides from this album's singles rock. Get everything you can related to this album! Singles, Tour DVDs, remixes... Expand
  34. Apr 13, 2013
    9
    An awesome comeback, after a few "meh" albums, Depeche creates kind of a Violator 2; a modern masterpiece, sure, its has flaws; but which album doesnt?
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. Billboard
    80
    Revels in dirty guitars and fuzzy distortion while maintaining Depeche Mode's familiar electronic sound. [22 Oct 2005]
  3. Filter
    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]