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Catching Rays On Giant

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Album Review

Alphaville's 2010 comeback album sets the time at defiance, playing as if the last two decades never existed, but the band's return to its prime form is so flawless the record sounds almost timeless. Thirteen years since their last commercial studio album, they pick up where synth pop left off: midtempo beats impossible not to tap to, romantic and nervous keyboard textures that take that space ambience of Kraftwerk and Tangerine Dream and put it to work, and dramatic vocals with a weepy edge, like Erasure is still the hottest new thing in town. This is supposed to sound plastic, but it doesn't, the hooks are too good, the melodies too convincing, and the mood is pinned down perfectly, as if the band spent all the time since 1997's Salvation working full-time to polish their stuff (though, as Axl Rose demonstrated, that's not necessarily a good thing). Besides, good dance-pop music hasn't really changed much since Alphaville's heyday, and there's since been plenty of synth pop aficionados keeping the flame alive and making Catching Rays on Giant relevant, but even if the style had been buried and forgotten after "Forever Young," this record would still shine through simply on the strength of its songwriting. Only on slower songs does it show that the band is no bunch of bright-eyed youngsters anymore; there are plenty of ballads, and Alphaville come across tired on those. But they also sound content, as if after a hard day's good work, they have the right to rest on their laurels. Of European pop heroes of the ‘80s, only a-ha have so far showed such longevity and the ability to mature without losing their best qualities, but Catching Rays on Giant adds another group to that singular list.

Customer Reviews

Wow!

I love Alphaville, and was absolutely blown away by first album Forever Young.

Although nothing has, and I doubt never will compare to Alphavilles debut and follow-up Afternoons In Utopia this remains a brilliant return to form.

This album has a rich variety of more complex pop songs exploring different styles and moods, as well as retaining the strong electropop structured around irritatingly memorable choruses which Alphaville are best known. Kicking off the album are three of Alphaville's most catchy tracks to date: Singles, Song For No One, I Die For You Today and the End Of The World. After these three songs the depth comes through- Songs like The Deep (Catching Ray's big ballad- each Alphaville album has one...) and Carry Me Down may not have the same instant appeal as the aforementioned pop songs, but they do grow! As with most Alphaville albums half the tracks on this album, could make notable singles

The disappointment for me on this album apart from the 13 year wait, was the fact that two tracks (Carry Your Flag and Miracle Healing) already featured on Alphavilles last limited CD Crazy Show collection. Rather than reproducing these tracks, why not re-release the originals collection- which features a huge array of tracks that deserves to once more see the light of day!

That said, Alphaville are stars and this album blows all their contemporaries out of the water- Let's hope the next album will be released before 2023!

Glad they

It took a chance trip to Germany to buy this cd and finally is here! I have to say, I disagree a bit. This for me, is not a masterpiece (as much as I'd like it to be... I'm a die hard fan of AV) though I'm glad the person who wrote that thinks so... I thought he/she was going to destroy it!!!... but I'm still a big fan of AV. Grew up with them, have followed them non stop, bought every release, saw them live (by chance as well) in Moscow and loved it!... Although I don't like every song in this or other cd's (except Forever Young) I have a big admiration for Mr. Gold. He just keeps going, writing, singing and believing. I'd buy any release by him as a solo artist tomorrow (as I have done) and speciallly an AV one with my eyes closed even if there is a 50/50 chance of not liking it that much. Just because I think he's such a commited musician. Well done for keeping the band alive after so many years! pity A-ha said goodbye already please don't do the same! keep releasing new material Mr. Gold! and come to the UK!!!

Love the songs, hate the graphic!

Just happened to search on what the band is up to, and stumble with this new album. What a surprise! I love how it sounds. But I wish they have done better for the sleeve design :(

Biography

Formed: 1983 in Münster, Germany

Genre: Pop

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

German synth pop group Alphaville enjoyed major success in the United States with their early hits "Forever Young" and "Big in Japan," and went on to a lasting career in Europe, South America, and Asia. Alphaville were formed by vocalist and lyricist Marian Gold and keyboard player Bernhard Lloyd, both of whom were members of the Nelson Community, a multimedia art collective based in Berlin. Gold and Lloyd were part of a short-lived band called Chinchilla Green (other members went on to form the...
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Catching Rays On Giant, Alphaville
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