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A Quiet Week In the House

Donna Regina

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Album Review

Donna Regina's first album for Karaoke Kalk begins with "Why," an alluring cheeseclothed mope of a song if there ever was one. If the group still released singles, this would be their greatest. Instantly magnetic for the detached but lovelorn sentiment from Regina Janssen's vocals and the leisurely gait of Günther Janssen's production, it sets up A Quiet Week in the House to be one of those albums with a whole lot of songs that are destined to be unfairly neglected. And that turns out to be the case, since the album contains no less than five other songs that would make for prime (if occasionally adventurous) indie pop singles. In these songs, nearly every element seems to come along at just the right time, whether it's a wash of strings, an unexpected keyboard vamp, or a labyrinthine vocal hook. As expected with any Donna Regina album, a couple songs radically deviate from their tried and true methods; numerous indie groups have tried their hands at drum'n'bass with disastrous results, but "Bouge-Toi" is a rare exception (like Luke Sutherland's Bows) where such an outfit is able to incorporate the form to positive effect. (Such experiments are typically buried in the second half of a record; it's the third track here.) Until Tricatel put together A Collection of Little Secrets in 2004, this was the easiest Donna Regina disc to recommend.

Biography

Formed: Cologne, Germany

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

During an existence that spanned nearly two decades and produced several albums, Cologne, Germany-based electronic indie pop group Donna Regina — centered around the breathy vocals of singer Regina Janssen, who worked alongside Günther Janssen, her fellow producer, multi-instrumentalist, and husband — were initially compared to Saint Etienne and One Dove. Through the years, however, they established a distinct, relaxed sound throughout a consistently stimulating and hushed body of work....
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A Quiet Week In the House, Donna Regina
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