ALBUM HOME, SONY RELEASE: SEPTEMBER
10, 2003 REVIEW: SEPTEMBER 20, 2003
was meant to be, wasn't it? When most of us were more or less disappointed
with Kraftwerk's rather uninspired comeback, along comes Bartos with his
talking computers to save the day. The sound on "Communication"
permeates playfulness and warm pop music as opposed to French house or
lengthy pieces of tired electronica. It becomes painfully evident where
much of the melodic puzzle piece of Kraftwerk was located. Rumour has
it, that Ralf and Florian re-recorded the vocals for "Telephone Call"
(originally sung by Bartos), because they wanted a more robotic, mechanic
feel in the vocal approach. That, if anything, accentuates a palpable
difference in approach.
The few times Karl's voice is not tampered with on "Communication"
(those infernal vocoders! When will it end?), in songs like "15 Minutes
of Fame" and the unresistingly catchy "Electronic Apeman",
he actually sounds pretty solid.
"Communication" is, in essence, Kraftwerk, but it represents
the pop oriented, melody laden side of the band. Think "The Model",
"Europe Endless" and "Computerlove". What Bartos is
excellent at, and what saves the album from being a retro trifle, is his
stunning ability to squeeze out synthetic warmth from his machines. This
is nothing but perfect, beautiful electronic pop music through the eyes
of a true legend. And yes, I remember the horrible Elektric Music indiepop
album a few years back, but I've repressed it. So should you after this