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ARTIST
TITLE
BM
FORMAT
CD

LABEL
CATALOG #
MONIKA 064CD MONIKA 064CD
GENRE
RELEASE DATE
11/11/2008

This is the long-awaited fifth full-length solo album from Berlin's queen of fragile and poetic electro-pop, Barbara Morgenstern. However, Morgenstern's tag as an "electro-pop icon," with which she has been associated since the early days of the Berlin living room scene, no longer really fits. The lightness that was so characteristic of her previous work has given way to new depths. What was minimal before is now far more complex, even weighty. Barbara Morgenstern's latest pop music creation is utterly captivating and mesmerizing. BM is interspersed with distortions, cacophonies and bouncing rhythms. With such a backdrop, the sweeping pop moments with their wide panoramas which make the heart soar, only seem all the more vast. And it's really cool, on "Morbus Basedow" for example, the way hard noise gives way to what is tried and tested pop, after all. On the whole, Morgenstern's music on BM is as unpredictable as never before. The patterns emerging from the piano are reminiscent of the ballads and chansons of Brecht and Weill. While the ever-present electric guitar on the other hand, played by Sven Janetzko, just wants to rock. Multifarious patterns criss-cross and knock each other off course, causing tension. And in the background, things bubble up from the depths -- like gnawing doubts which are constantly squeaking or scraping away somewhere. This release is eclectic like none of her previous releases and no song is quite like any other. Some arrangements comply with clear pop mechanisms, while others, in contrast, are more idiosyncratic. Off-beats and polyrhythms are subtly presented to the listener. Throughout the album, Barbara's melodious and soft singing voice forms the center of attention, but right and left, above and below, there is always something very different happening. It's as if the music is the subtext to the thoughtful lyrics with their often unusual meter. The lyrics can also be very political, such as on "Come To Berlin," a piece about the shocking city planning in Berlin.