Yello's music have always had a distinct cinematic feel to it. But despite popping up on a handful of soundtracks, they've never done a complete score. And probably having a wish to do one, members Boris Blank and Dieter Meyer simply composed twelve songs based on excerpts from imaginary films (or perhaps episodes) and recorded an album suitably called "Motion Picture".
Still, this rather original approach stays within the frames of what essentially could be defined as a typical Yello production. Meaning that you get your share of Dadaist folly, Dieter Meyer's spoken word and some high tech latino rhythms.
But by simulating a score they also open up for such refreshing influences as Henry Mancini, legendary composer and father of the "Pink Panther Theme". Also to some extent John Barry (the latter isn't such a new influence, though). "Houdini" could actually be seen as a homage to Mancini. And it should be emphasised that Yello wisely stick to their own traditional sound instead of imitating Barry fetishists like Propellerheads.
The highlights of  "Motion Picture" is to be found in "Time Freeze" and the cleverly titled "Point Blank". On these tracks a beautiful Fender Rhodes piano gives you the most genuine jazz vibe since "Rhythm Divine", their successful collaboration with Shirley Bassey twelve years ago.
But as on so many other Yello albums the highlights are mixed with a fair amount of anonymity. Several tracks seem to be made out of routine to keep the album together. And the predictable mambo of  "Squeeze Please" just feels like a tiresome extension of their old hit single "Jungle Bill".
Still "Motion Picture" is Yello's best effort in a long time and indicates that gentlemen Meyer and Blank can postpone their retirement an indefinite number of years. 


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