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Feuer und Flamme

Nena

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Album Review

After experiencing two solid years of absolute hero worship, Nena and her band assumed that their third album would be eagerly awaited. Their plan was to meet those expectations by raising their own ambitions. The resulting album, however, was hampered by just that. The songs suffered from a loss of warmth, the results feeling to cool and constructed when compared to the previous two albums. Actual trouble set in for the band when, inexplicably, about half of their fan base failed to turn up for the ensuing tour, contrasting sharply with the obvious pride and self belief on show in their new elaborate stage set. The album could hardly be to blame, as it was neither an outright commercial failure nor was it weak in substance. Although the songs do tend toward a more mechanical feel, they do not stray far from the usual winning formula. There was however one change in the team: Manne Praeker left Reinhold Heil to do the production without him on that occasion, but it's unclear if that was decisive for the album's overall atmosphere. In any case, the albums closing song, the towering all-time Nena classic "Irgendwie, Irgendwo, Irgendwann" had been recorded the previous year (produced by Heil and Praeker), and had been a successful single. However, it highlights the shift in feeling between the previous productions and the 1985 album sessions. With German audiences suddenly giving shallow retro disco acts strong preference, the many attempts at releasing singles from the album met with increasing (but nevertheless undeserved) indifference. The effort on Nena's part to record a complete English version of the album ("It's All in the Game." with lyrics by Canadian singer Lisa Dalbello) also found little interest in the U.S. and U.K.

Biography

Born: 24 March 1960 in Hagen, Germany

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Beginning in 1982, Nena became one of the most successful pop stars Germany had ever seen, especially given the unique success of the original German-language version of the single "99 Luftballons" in the U.S. in 1984. With the full name of Nena Kerner, she had spent one year as vocalist for the Stripes (who disbanded after just one unsuccessful album in 1980), then assembled a band in Berlin called Nena. The lineup included herself as vocalist, Carlo Karges on guitar, Uwe Fahrenkrog-Petersen on...
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Feuer und Flamme, Nena
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