I 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.