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Album Review

On 2008's Broken Grid, his first album under the group name Solar Fake, German synthesizer player and singer Sven Friedrich covered Radiohead's "Creep," one indication of his musical taste. A more telling one comes with the cover he's chosen for the second Solar Fake album, Frontiers, a version of Talk Talk's 1984 hit "Such a Shame." Friedrich's all-synthesizer dance-rock sound is very much rooted in ‘80s antecedents, including not only Talk Talk, but also, and especially, Depeche Mode, who are evoked in the opening song, "Under the Skies." Friedrich sings in a groaning baritone had can suggest Dave Gahan when it isn't recalling David Bowie's more portentous pronouncements in a similar British accent. Friedrich also can be a bit more supple, and when he is, for instance in "No Apologies," he evokes New Order. His music ranges from more pop-oriented tunes like "More Than This" (which has a Giorgio Moroder-like dance feel, as if Donna Summer was about to break into song) to industrial beats and distorted, raging vocals, as in "Why Did I Raise the Fire" and "Until I'm Back." Actually, the angrier tone is more in keeping with the lyrics, which tend toward the melodramatically despairing. In both "Where Are You" and "Pain Goes By," Friedrich uses the image of sand running through his fingers, and throughout there is a sense of helplessness as well as hopelessness. But he manages to come in from the ledge at the end on the ballad "The Line of Sight," in which his love for a significant other makes him declare that they will be able to overcome the adversity he has spent the rest of the record making seem insurmountable. Even after the apocalypse, it seems, love conquers all. Meanwhile, Frontiers provides a means of dancing all the way to doomsday and beyond.

Frontiers, Solar Fake
View in iTunes
  • 9,99 €
  • Genres: Electronic, Music
  • Released: 22 July 2011

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