I have been waiting for Sven Friedrich to make an album like this since Dreadful Shadows released their single for "Twist in My Sobriety" in 1999. I could tell then that there was much going on in his musical world besides just rock. It seemed as though this side of his creative palette would never be given time to shine, though, with the dissolution of the Shadows in 2000. Zeraphine (originally called Helix) changed up the heaviness his former band featured for sleekly addictive songs and fastidious attention to detail.

Here, at last, is the style he's been hinting at all along. When this album is billed as totally electronic, it is. There are no guitars, no live instruments at all. He has composed these tracks with just his own vision and an arsenal of gear which I can only imagine shines very prettily. From the opener "Hiding Memories from the Sun", a mid-tempo exercise in contemplation to the triumphant thunder of "(You Think You're) Radical" there is a tone of reflection to Solar Fake which has not been there with any of his other projects. There is also much anger on "Broken Grid"; the song "I Keep My Eyes Shut" is proof plenty of this. Friedrich writes his songs catchy as hell, not once does this album lag or bore. It is an engagingly vivacious piece of audio precision direct from the cold, mechanised streets of Berlin.

I'm impressed highly also by the sound choices he has made, he takes back a lot of cliched progressions certain petty "futurepop" bands use to define their style and puts them places they are not designed to go. I can also tell that he has created many many sounds of his own on "Broken Grid". How do I know this? I've never heard them any place else. Truly, though, his covering of Radiohead's (a band I despise and always will) "Creep" is inspired. Why it is that they didn't think to do this a glaring example of just how pointless they are and what a talented, outstanding musician Sven Friedrich is. He adds accents and depth to this song that no marshall stack could do justice. In plainer terms, this cover makes me think of someone I adore and it nails all the emotional points of want and longing down to a cold, taut canvas. I cannot stop smiling when I hear it, it makes me reach beyond just as he most certainly has with "Broken Grid"; an album which I hope he follows up with soon. The portraits he creates with Solar Fake demand to be expanded upon, a most intimate collection of songs this is.


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