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Return of the Mother

Nina Hagen

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Album Review

It had indeed been a few years since Nina Hagen's last regular album ("Freud Euch" and its English version "Bee Happy" in 1995), so there was reason enough to be curious about what the title of the new album, Return of the Mother, might portend. It turns out that the whole album is devoted to balancing the ambivalence contained in that title: the possible sinister undercurrent as well as the advent of sheltering care. The mother figure of the title track is revealed to mean a kind of caring divine principal, not bound to any one religion but common to all. Throughout the album (mostly sung in German but with English interjections) lots of well meaning good advice to humanity gets contrasted with none too clear warnings, all set on a musical backdrop of often sinisterly weighty and elaborate dance/rock arrangements. Early on, "Schachmatt" concentrates the combination of apocalyptic outlook and plea for change, but a number of songs veer off to scenarios of their own. Two of them are covers of songs from the repertoire of Zarah Leander, transposing them from pre-war Berlin to the dancefloors of the 21st century. "Poetenclub" is a unique kind of tribute to Austrian singer Falco who died in 1998: using samples of his voice we get a sort of dialogue between Nina Hagen and him, to underscore how souls live on. It's more of a meditation than a song, and that points to what has to be said that the album lacks: tunes. As usual with Nina Hagen, her energy is all over the place, she remains a unique, ever-changing vocal powerhouse, but melodic content just isn't a strength of this particular album. Even so, "Schüttel Mich," a fun and funky song of seduction, has hit quality, and when the electronics make way for a non-synthetic percussive backing on the Hindu chant of the closing "He Shiva Shankara," the album finds a distinctly melodic ending.

Customer Reviews

Mother of Punk!

Nina Hagen is one of those rare artist that you love no matter what language she is singing in...whether it is English or German...Opera or Rock ....the woman is mesmerizing to listen to and equally to look at!! Sadly some of her best efforts arent offered on here...such as her major hit album Fearless which spawned the huge club hit New York New York and Zara...both must haves as well as her album Nunsexmonkrock which blasted her onto the American scene and of course Universal Radio is another infamous rocker for The Queen mother of Punk~~ Find these and import them as they truly are what represent Nina at her most powerfull and 80s New wave Punk best!! Nina is a one of a kind artist that is in a genre all her own....She has a dazzling vocal range and was trained as an opera singer before joining a punk band.....She loves to delve into many different types of sound and has collaborated with many artist....such as Lene Lovich whom also is bizzare and interesting in her own right!

Very impressive CD!

I LOVE NINA HAGEN! This CD is a really good CD both musically and lyrically. Most of the CD is in german, but if you can translate what she is saying into english, you will be very impressed with her vision. The song Return of the Mother is my favorite song on there. Be sure to check out the song Handgrenade. It has some very powerful lyrics.

Agree with Coldstone...

NUNSEXMUNKROCK...Ekstacy... GOD is your father.....Nina's the best, can't even define her janra, a unique Nina Hagen. One of the most unknown (in America anyways) talents of the world...EVER...her vocal range unlike anyone I've ever heard... definately more Nina i-tunes!!!

Biography

Born: March 11, 1955 in East Berlin, Germany

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Born in East Germany, Nina Hagen had already gained a reputation as a flamboyant rock singer by the time she emigrated to the West in 1976, where she formed a band, signed to CBS Germany, and released the debut album Nina Hagen Band in 1978. It was followed in 1980 by Unbehagen. Hagen's first U.S. release, Nina Hagen Band EP (1980), was a four-song EP consisting of songs drawn from her two German releases. She moved to New York and made her first English-language LP, Nunsexmonkrock, in 1982. That...
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Return of the Mother, Nina Hagen
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