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Meanwhile

Camouflage

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Album Review

After Camouflage finally discover their own voice on 1989's Methods of Silence, they take a nap on Meanwhile. Mistaking slower tempos for introspection, Camouflage abandons the thrilling synth pop of "The Great Commandment" for sluggish, aimless tracks. While the band's attempts to shed the Depeche Mode comparisons is commendable, they don't sound too excited doing it. One of Camouflage's best songs is the heartbreakingly pretty "Love Is a Shield" from Methods of Silence, and the group tries to recapture that track's melancholic feel on "Heaven (I Want You)." Unfortunately, the music drifts by without any enthusiasm or emotion. The band uses a guitar on "Dad" to kill the monotony, but it comes across as forced. None of the romantic songs on Meanwhile move the listener, and Camouflage's bad habit of tackling serious issues has again surfaced. On "Dad," Camouflage addresses child abuse and incest with the depth of a newspaper headline: "No one will believe/'Cause he's your dad." Whether or not the track is based on a specific real-life incident is a question only the group can answer; nevertheless, it doesn't change the fact that the song doesn't pack the wallop that it should. Although Meanwhile isn't as derivative as Camouflage's 1988 debut, Voices & Images, the band doesn't replace the borrowed parts with equally toothsome hooks of their own.

Biography

Formed: 1981 in Germany

Genre: Pop

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

The German synth-pop trio Camouflage was officially formed in 1984 by vocalist Marcus Meyn and keyboardists/programmers Heiko Maile and Oliver Kreyssig. The group took first place in a radio-sponsored song contest in 1986, and before long, their debut single, "The Great Commandment," was scaling the German charts. Their full-length debut, Voices and Images, was released in 1988, reflecting the group's classic new wave synth-pop influences, but most of all Depeche Mode. 1989's Methods of Silence began...
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Meanwhile, Camouflage
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