I think being friends with Wolfgang Flür and Karl Bartos makes it more OK to sound like that legendary German band. It’s like having an official license to rip. But to be fair, not all the songs here try to emulate Kraftwerk, as there are some more traditional synthpop songs as well. Unfortunately, these aren’t my favourites.
“Futuristica” for example is bland and makes me hit the “next” button quicker than you can say "Apu Nahasapeemapetilon". Luckily, the best track on the album is only one song away – past the meandering “Play the Music” – namely the second version of “Business and Pleasure” that wraps up this collection of songs. Possibly the least “you know who”-sounding of them all, this dancey lollipop is bound to set your feet a-movin’. The first version however is pretty reminiscent of… – well, you get the picture.
The album’s lyrical theme seems to be the European Union, the international market and being a citizen of the world. They complain about why the Swedes don’t want to be Europeans in “EC”, perhaps the most "robotic foursome with slick hairdo's”-sounding track on the entire album. It’s a fine sentiment, and as in “that other band's" case, the lyrics aren’t the most subtle around.
I’ve now depleted my supply of Kraftwerk synonyms, so I’ll let you go with some finishing words. Sapporo take their favourite parts from the German’s catalogue, and actually manages to make their own sound out of it, at least most of the time. I like it, and have listened to Sapporo quite a lot.
Also, techno guru Andreas Tilliander and Sami Sirviö from Kent have contributed. That doesn’t say much though, as you can’t really hear it, except that the guys in Sapporo have some neat friends.