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Neu! - Neu! CD (album) cover





4.08 | 325 ratings

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4 stars Rating: B+

In case any of you were wondering what the greatest, most perfect rock song ever happens to be, wonder no more. It's NEU!'s masterpiece, "Hallogallo". With an unceasing 4/4 drum groove (known as the motorik beat and appearing in countless songs since 1972) giving it an endless supply of energy (with just a pinch of bass guitar helping out), "Hallogallo" is able to rely almost entirely on psychedelic guitar pastures for atmosphere. It's the perfect song for driving, but it's also just a perfect song. It kicks into gear around thirty-five seconds in, and it never leaves from there.

There's more to NEU!'s standout debut than just "Hallogallo", however. "Negativland" is the only other song at the same energy level as "Hallogallo", though it sounds entirely different. It is composed of snippets of motorik beats at various speeds, paving the way for abrasive guitar that sets the stage for punk music. Between the monoliths that are "Hallogallo" and "Negativland", however, are some quieter tracks. "Weissensee" is a very ambient track with a s.l.o.w motorik beat (NEU!'s entire sound was based off the motorik beat, in case you couldn't tell). Slightly more problematic for some listeners are "Sonderangebot" and "Im Gluck", both of which are very similar to "Weissensee", only without even the drums. As such, they feel freeform (and they very much are), but they make sense in the context of the album. By far the most controversial track on NEU!'s eponymous debut, however, is the closer, "Lieber Hoenig". It's another slow piece, only this time, it has vocals (the rest of the album is instrumental), and these are sure to drive many a listener up a wall. It's purely a matter of taste, but I (and many others) absolutely adore them.

Take these six songs - each one great - and make an album of them, and you've got one of the greatest debuts of all time. Scratch that, you've got one of the greatest CDs of all time, hands down. Listen to any punk/post-punk/alternative/indie/noise rock CD since 1975 and you'll hear hints and snatches of this phenomenal CD. Simply put, it's absolutely, undeniable, unquestionably, incontrovertibly essential. And that's only a sideshow to the fact that NEU! (the album) hasn't dated to this day (well, maybe a little for the spacey noise tracks); it sounds as good now as it must have sounded 36 years ago when it first came out.

Pnoom! | 4/5 |


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