Genre/Influences: Electro, Electro-Wave.
Format: Digital, CD, Vinyl.
Background/Info: While Chris Pohl last year released the debut album of his side-project She Hates Emotions, which was devoted to the 80s, he now strikes back with this new Blutengel album featuring cover versions of legendary 80s songs. The album is available in different formats, but I here review the classical CD version featuring ten covers plus two extra songs.
Content: Blutengel transposed the original Electro-Wave/Pop songs into a very personal interpretation. You always recognize the original songs, but also the typical –and rougher, but melodic Blutengel touch. Chris Pohl remains the lead singer while Ulrike Godmann sings a few songs as well.
The bands that were covered include Duran Duran, Alphaville, Ultravox, Gary Numan, Steinberg & Kelly, Mike & The Mechanics, Yazoo, Propaganda, A-Ha and Erasure. Last, but not least we also get two extra songs written by Blutengel featuring the instrumental “Journey To The Edge Of The Night”.
+ + + : Covering legendary songs such as “Wild Boys”, “Forever Young”, “Nobody’s Diary”, “Dr. Mabuse”, “The Sun Always Shines On TV” or yet “Ship Of Fools” remain a tricky business. It’s an exercise, which is often more efficient when the songs are played live instead than releasing a ‘special’ album. But there’s a reason if Blutengel is recognized as one of the absolute leading formations from this scene and that probably explains why these interpretations have been accomplished with passion and knowledge. It sometimes feels like Blutengel is the original writer of the songs, this way realizing a sonic bridge between the 80s and Blutengel’s sound. The production of the vocals is absolutely great. We probably all have our favorites, but the way Duran Duran’s “Wild Boys” has been reworked is brilliant. I also have to mention Yazoo’s “Nobody’s Diary sung by Ulrike Goldmann. Blutengel takes their fans by surprise by this new opus. And as a little bonus you get a great song entitled “Unsere Zeit”, which is a typical, but efficient Blutengel piece.
– – – : I definitely prefer original albums, but I can live with this one.
Conclusion: I think this album has been a way to bring homage to legendary 80s artists, who probably inspired the work of Chris Pohl.
Best songs: “Nobody’s Diary”, “Wild Boys”, “Dr. Mabuse”, “Alone” + Unsere Zeit”.