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Bis nach Toulouse (Bonus Edition)

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Album Review

The debate as to whether Euro-rock is a legitimate musical style is ongoing, but the second album by Philipp Poisel nevertheless embodies everything that is good about European musicians playing guitars. Bis Nach Toulouse is a simple, introspective record based around acoustic guitar strumming and intentionally weak, wavering vocals; even in his most dynamic moments, Poisel sounds like he is using his last breath to say things that really matter to him, which are usually straightforward things about love and "looking into her eyes." But while this may seem a ready-made description for a satiric bashing of an ill-advised singer/songwriter effort, the album, in fact, comes across as a touching set of tunes, but laconic because less is more, not because Poisel doesn't know how to flesh out the songs. He does, actually: a number of cuts, especially in the former half of the album, rise from simple beginnings to a larger-than-life sound, complete with pianos, choirs, strings, and U2-style droning guitar textures, all without losing the emotion — a bit like Coldplay — though still less lavishly arranged and polished. But the good thing is that the impact isn't lessened when Poisel just croons in his subdued voice with nothing else to back him up but his guitar; ballads like "Liebe Meines Lebens" are a crafty understatement where the notes he does not pluck matter as much as the ones he plays. Euro-rock is music that utilizes simple, even unoriginal means to create a vibe of gentle melancholy that, at its best, recalls both shaded streets of small German or French towns and all the romances you've ever had, and helps you believe it was all worth it; and Bis Nach Toulouse fits the bill like few others.

Customer Reviews

Music knows no borders

What tragically small-minded fool wrote the iTunes album review for this? "The debate as to whether Euro-rock is a legitimate musical style is ongoing..." ??? How insular and shortsighted. Music is human, based on universal emotions and experiences. If you've got hands and vocal chords and a working brain, you can pick up a guitar and sing some words with it. There may be languages that are harder to adapt to the forms of rock music, but I think it's utterly baffling and rather disgusting that American and British culture critics and audiences should buy into the notion that English-language rock music is somehow first-class and everything else just shabby imitations.

German in particular is a language that works magnificently with songwriting structures for rock and pop, and in case we've forgotten, Germany has centuries of musical preeminence in their history, with a deeply rich and vibrant tradition of emotional, beautiful, astonishing work from composers and musicians. The electric guitar came to being in the States at a time when Europe happened to be in the throes of political and military upheaval. Naturally there wasn't much infrastructure in Germany or other places to support the rock music industry for a while. Nonetheless, the inherent potential in German artists or artists of any other nationality, European or otherwise, to produce great rock music, is just the same as the potential of any American or British artist. We really need to lose the nationalistic chauvinism in regards to popular music. Maybe it's just that the American masses are too lazy to learn other languages, so they don't understand foreign rock. That's their loss. "Euro-rock," as the reviewer put it, is amazing.


Born: June 18, 1983 in Ludwigsburg , Germany

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '10s

Singer/songwriter Philipp Poisel was born on June 18, 1983 in Ludwigsburg, Germany. After graduating from high school, Poisel traveled through Europe and met producer Frank Pilsl in 2006, with whom he recorded his first demos. After Herbert Grönemeyer became aware of Poisel in 2007, he signed the young musician to his Grönland label in January 2008. Seven months later, Poisel's debut album, Wo Fängt Dein Himmel An?, was released, with the title track serving as the record's first single (which managed...
Full Bio

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Bis nach Toulouse (Bonus Edition), Philipp Poisel
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