ALBUM STRANGE WAYS RELEASE: OCTOBER 18, 1999 REVIEW: OCTOBER 14, 1999
I miss the attitude, the uptempo, dancy club hits of the former Beborn Beton albums. Still, I'm thrilled by the new, significantly softer version of the band. So, what it really comes down to is this: which Beborn Beton is the best? Reluctantly, I have to say the more speedy outfit suits their obstinate electropop better than what's presented on their fresh full length "Fake".
The August single release "Poison" was a delightful reminder of how great the German trio really is, but it doesn't represent the moods and structures of the album as a whole. "Poison" is a track giving new meaning to the adjective cool, both lyric- and soundwise. A sneaking low verse transforms into a hyperelectronic, moody chorus.
The rest of "Fake" is calmer, using pure song strength as its weapon. All ten songs are good, but only "Poison" and "Vorbei" can be labelled uptempo, a description that fits most of the band's earlier works. I'm impressed by the production and the great singing of Stefan Netschio, as well as the musically talented Michael Wagner and Stefan Tillmann. Further, "Forever" is a beautiful ballad, "Phoenix" a cold, electrifying midtempo track and "The Only Fool" the coolest of closing themes.
But something is missing. Something I'm having a hard time pinpointing. Maybe some of the songs are too alike, maybe it's because they've decided to include an, in my eyes, unnecessary bonus remix-CD with the first 3000 copies of the album. This disc holds alternative versions to some of the album songs, but they are exclusively worse than the originals.
All in all, I'm a tad disappointed with "Fake". Note, however, that it's Beborn Beton I'm talking about, and in my book so much can be expected from them. Maybe too much for their own good.