THE NOTWIST - Neon Golden
In 1998, Shrink, which was The Notwist’s awesome fifth album, had given an opportunity to a lucky few to get used to the unique music of these Bavarian artists, a mix of jazz tone and noisy guitars, post-rock ventures and intense pop melodies. More compact, and also more accessible, Neon Golden is the achievement of a minute musical puzzle fascinatingly, yet too roughly, foreshadowed by Shrink. As the distribution and advertising is more extensive, this album should rightfully mean the crowning of The Notwist.
Indeed, Neon Golden has all the material for a perfect cross-over, the ideal middle-way between electronic and pop music. Everything works in unison, in an upsetting blend of synthetic and organic sounds : electronic sounds sound as if they were controlled bit by bit (Martin Gretschmann monitors it), the voice, as rasping and moving as it gets, delivers melodies full of melancholy, arrangements of strings, brass instruments and banjo marvellously wrap the sharpest tracks, with the guitars in charge of inspiring an almost perceptible energy in humane and endearing pieces.
Within a few addictive tracks (the already well know Pilot, This room, sounding like Third Eye Foundation had started making pop music, TrashingDays, or One with the Freaks), these German boys have managed to outclass the recent efforts made by Hood as far as winter electrically modified grim pop is concerned. Did you say "Grim" ? The Notwist’s music has, besides its potential to be a hit, the fine ability to be heartrending, the perfect soundtrack to our moments when we are uncontrollably anxious, thanks to Markus Acher’s lyrics, a foil in which incommunicability and solitude unkindly reflect each other.
At length, maybe the impressive efficiency of this album will deprive it of Shrink’s time-proof character and its crossroads, nevertheless Neon Golden is a serious challenger to the title of "Album of the Year", this without a preliminary round of observation.
Translated by Gnusball
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