The Decline Of Female Happiness

KK 054CD KK 054CD

Cologne-based melancholic electro-pop duo Donna Regina release their sixth album for the Karaoke Kalk label. Günther and Regina Janssen have been around longer than electronica and the term never really fit their music that well. After all, the duo from Cologne are really all about writing songs, not just producing tracks, and certainly not electronica. But you can't take such categorization so literally. They fit all the characteristics that we attribute to withdrawn and playful electronic music with all its nuances. Donna Regina are masters of reservation, allusion and vagueness. Only they are capable of keeping listeners in suspense in the way that they do. For example, the piece "Vague," with its really stunning Giorgio Moroder bass-line, creates expectation right from the first note. They knowingly build up tension and consistently hold that level right through to the end without ever letting up. Donna Regina would rather play one note briefly than two for too long. They deliver a wonderful production that is sonically varied and full of ideas. Their sound and their songs are elegant and melancholy, in varying degrees. And for as long as anyone can remember, Regina Janssen has been singing like the great Nico, who after all, was also from the Rhein area. And yet The Decline Of Female Happiness is somehow different. But Donna Regina wouldn't be Donna Regina if this difference was noticeable at first glance. It seems as if the band, or at least its front woman, is taking stock with this album. Not only in the title track does The Decline Of Female Happiness deal with womanly situatedness and self-reflection. Loneliness, growing old and everyday life are also topics. These songs speak of experience and perhaps also of disillusionment. It's this sublime aloofness that makes The Decline Of Female Happiness such a special album, and the music sounds equally at ease and experienced. Donna Regina achieves a kind of unity with their songwriting that many strive towards, though few attain.