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Voices & Images

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Album Review

When it was played on modern rock radio stations in 1988, Camouflage had everybody duped with "The Great Commandment." With its chilly synths, robotic percussion, and gloomy vocals, the song was a Depeche Mode doppelganger. Similarly, Camouflage's debut album Voices & Images is the sound of young men who couldn't stop playing Depeche Mode's Black Celebration in their tape decks. However, they are somewhat talented plagiarists. The icy, computerized rhythms in the anti-racism track "Neighbours" and "Helpless Helpless" have toe-tapping appeal, and "Winner Takes Nothing" regurgitates Duran Duran as new romantic cyborgs with Marcus Meyn's Simon Le Bon-esque singing. Meyn enunciates every word in his songs with a heavy seriousness, as if lyrics such as "we had fun while we played/hide and seek" have profound meaning. The dancey synthesizers of keyboardists/programmers Heiko Maile and Oliver Kreyssig Xerox the eerily seductive high-tech boogie of mid-'80s Depeche Mode, but they're nowhere near as inventive or edgy. Voices & Images should've been an EP. Once the sixth track, "Winner Takes Nothing," is finished, Camouflage's Depeche Mode infatuation loses its novelty.

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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Voices & Images, Camouflage
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