I don’t love synthpop and I approach these records with trepidation unless I already know the bands. (Sometimes even if I know the band.) It’s just not my thing and it has to really stand out for me to care that much. Usually I prefer when a synthpop band has a broader palette than just synthesizers and vocals. But maybe I’m coming around to the genre a little bit, due to how much I’ve been listening to it lately.
The first thing of note is the quality of the songs. It’s not just the hits that stand out. Often I find I know the hit or hits – in this case I don’t recall “Big in Japan” though it was a hit – and then I find the rest of the album lacking. But the other songs are up to snuff and sometimes better.
Maybe it’s the songs, or maybe it’s something about the German aesthetic as opposed to the British one, but I don’t mind the sound even though it’s very much synthpop and nothing else. It’s not even particularly inventive synthpop. It’s definitely closer to sophistipop than the weirder, more dance- or electronic-oritented synthpop. That used to rub me the wrong way. I’m not sure why it doesn’t here so I must be just getting used to the genre or something. Or maybe it’s the songs.
So this is a solid synthpop debut. It won’t change your life and I doubt it will convert you if you don’t like the genre, but it’s a decent set of songs performed well.
PS I’m amazed (and thankful) I didn’t get hung up on the inappropriate band name. It’s a great band name but it’s totally inappropriate for a band this unadventurous.
All Lyrics by Marian Gold, Music by Bernhard Lloyd and Frank Mertens.
- “A Victory of Love” – 4:14
- “Summer in Berlin” – 4:42
- “Big in Japan” – 4:43
- “To Germany with Love” – 4:15
- “Fallen Angel” – 3:55
- “Forever Young” – 3:45
- “In the Mood” – 4:29
- “Sounds Like a Melody” – 4:42
- “Lies” – 3:32
- “The Jet Set” – 4:52
- Marian Gold – lead and backing vocals
- Bernhard Lloyd – rhythm keyboards, programming, drum machine
- Frank Mertens – lead keyboards
- Wolfgang Loos – additional keyboards, gong on track 3
- Ken Taylor – bass
- Curt Cress – drums, percussion
- Wednesday, Gulfstream, The Rosie Singers, The Claudias – backing vocals
- German Opera – strings, string arrangements