TOUR DE FRANCE SOUNDTRACKS
ALBUM EMI RELEASE: AUGUST 6,
2003 REVIEW: AUGUST 9, 2003
guess I have the same feeling most of you have or will have when you hear
this album. 17 years have past since the last proper album "Electric
Café". And this is all they can come up with? We get five
versions of the same 20 year old song (yes, “Chrono” is also
a version of “Tour de France 03”), and some new ones that
could have been better, under an old cover design. Furthermore I can't
help but wonder what the two "new" members Fritz Hilpert and
Henning Schmitz are doing? They sure haven’t brought in any new
elements into the music (or they haven't been allowed to by their masters?).
course, "Tour de France Soundtracks" is classic Kraftwerk. In
fact, to the extent of absurdity. But then again, we want Kraftwerk to
be Kraftwerk, don't we? I guess a new Kraftwerk album with a totally different
approach, say that they moved closer to experimental rock, would not go
down well with their target audience. But some progression after almost
two decades could be expected, don’t you think? Sure there are some
techno and house influences, but not that much. We are still served robotic
voices and the trademark Kraftwerk sounds.
This time the lyrics are obviously built around bicycling, and contain
charming phrases like “A B C D Vitamin” and “A E RO
Dynamik”. The latter of course comes from “Aerodynamik”
and is for me the best new effort on the album. Up-tempo, very bouncy
bass line and beeping and bopping bleeps everywhere.
expect almost every electronic music fan to buy this album. It’s
Kraftwerk we're talking about, and this is a fairly decent album after
all. And maybe it could never have lived up to all our expectations. But
it lacks memorable melodies and fresh ideas. The mix of the original “Tour
de France” is still the best song on here, and they haven’t
even touched it much.