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Wir sind Blumen

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Album Review

Getting an exact handle on Leichtmetall is hard to do, and that's to their credit. The descending horns at the start of the title track could almost suggest a more overtly jazz take on Tortoise, the blended vocals a gentler Stereolab, but the organ beatbox rhythm could be polka or could be a beer-hall singalong — or even the Young Marble Giants in another life — while the bell-like keyboards further suggest the prettier side of Warp Records. With this all in the mix, Wir Sind Blumen could go any number of directions, and this it ends up doing, pursuing a retro-future approach that isn't completely groundbreaking but doesn't quite sound exactly like anyone else, either. The downside, though, is that the album doesn't completely change beyond its initial fusion, either, leading to a situation where all the songs too readily blend into each other — it's not that any number of groups haven't suffered the same problem (or even turned it into an advantage), but here it becomes a bit much. Those songs where more overt changes to the blend are introduced work better as a result, as with the beat and string synth breaks on "Wir Sind Keine Kabarettisten" or a couple of instrumentals such as "Füchschen," with its jaunty piano and plucked strings. Still, it's a pleasant if not truly deathless listen, though one wonders more where they will go next in the end.

Wir sind Blumen, Leichtmetall
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