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Lady Sleep

Maximilian Hecker

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Album Review

Lady Sleep, the third full-length offering from German chamber pop balladeer Maximilian Hecker, is pure misery. Protagonists pine, grieve, and rage as they watch hope fade away through frosty windows of romantic failure like Elizabethan teenagers in love, pausing only to reflect on the inevitable relief provided by their eventual earthly demise. Hecker croons lines like "You're the goddess of my daydreams/you're the diving suit to my body/you're the one I will never touch" in a lucid falsetto that recalls the Zombies' Colin Blunstone without the whimsy. His maudlin world is augmented by piano, strings, and the occasional burst of processed guitar or drums, resulting in a collection of material that manages to echo both Trent Reznor and "Without You"-era Harry Nilsson, while maintaining a distinctly European flare for melodrama. It's not all wrist-slitting breakup music however, as Hecker can conjure up the occasional bit of Morrissey-esque black humor ("Everything Inside Me Is Ill") and there is the requisite mid-tempo pick-me-up ("Full of Voices"), but for the most part, Lady Sleep is an effective love letter to pain. Fans of Antony and the Johnsons and Scott Walker will find much to love here.


Born: 26 July 1977 in Heidenheim, Germany

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '00s

Wunderkind Maxi Hecker first began playing his breathy, polyester pop to an audience at the corners of the Hackesche Markt in Berlin. The young singer/songwriter would stand there with his guitar and amp in an attempt to woo women...
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Lady Sleep, Maximilian Hecker
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