ALBUM POLYDOR RELEASE:
MAY 26, 2003 (GERMANY) REVIEW: JUNE 17, 2003
know Depeche Mode are holy ground for most of the synth community. I am
a huge Mode fan myself, albeit not to the point of purchasing all the
gazillion pressings of their releases and viewing them as undisputable
Gods. I still didn't expect Camouflage, now a re-united trio, to surpass
Depeche's "Exciter" album so easily.
Camouflage contributed greatly to my growing love for the synthpop genre
when I heard their timeless classic "The Great Commandment"
on Swedish radio back in the eighties. While only ten years old, I still
remember being filled with that unmistakable gut feeling I've had the
pleasure of experiencing many times during my next decade and beyond.
From a logical viewpoint "Sensor" was bound to be the electropop
masterpiece that it is, given the patented "experimental" phase
most bands go through before deciding to go back to what they do best.
Following hit parade "Voices & Images" and the under rated
follow-up "Methods of Silence" (perhaps due to the band including
acoustic instrumentation) was "Meanwhile", an album few bothered
with. And, granted, it sounded way too "ordinary" with its traditional
rock setting and much of the Camouflage aura had gone missing. Oliver
Kreyssig, who left the band after "Methods of Silence", decided
to join the band again during the recording sessions for "Sensor",
and it makes sense, as this new album shows a back-to-basics approach
in terms of the song writing. The music, however, sounds remarkably fresh
and modern. Maybe this was what Marcus and Heiko aimed at with "Bodega
Bohemia", but didn't quite succeed with.
The first single "Me and You" holds every single detail that
makes a great pop track. Superb production, Marcus's charismatic vocals
(mind you, Oliver provides vocals for two tracks on the album and does
so brilliantly), fantastic sounds and a hooky chorus. Holding no dud tracks,
"Sensor" is a rare find in all its melancholic electropop glory.
Standout tracks are the mentioned single, "Lost", a breathtakingly
wonderful slow piece building its way towards a hypnotic climax, "I'll
Follow Behind", a track (too much?) alongside Depeche Mode's "It's
No Good" in sound, quality and tempo and the extremely catchy pop
monster "I Can't Feel You", which coincidentally will be released
as a second single in July.
Camouflage are back, hopefully to stay, so please, if you're a fan (or
if you're not, for that matter), buy this one instead of downloading it.
Music this good should be endorsed and supported every way imaginable.
"Sensor" managed to enter the German sales charts at number
26 upon its release, which is exceptionally strong for a synth release,
but it is worthy of the number one spot in any country.