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Novalis - Vielleicht Bist Du Ein Clown ? CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.37 | 65 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars Novalis was really in a category of it's own when it came to German bands of the seventies. They certainly didn't fit into the freakier Krautrock heading with their lyrical, orchestral sound with romantic laments sung in the German language. This is one of their finest recordings which appeared in 1978 and, as a function of the times, featured a more streamlined sound that nonetheless maintained their raison d'etre. Dense, multi-layered keyboards afforded many possibilities for guitarist Detlef Job to develop some catchy riffs that, although approaching commercial proportions they still maintained a certain sophistication. One track, Zingaresca, was even used as a theme song for a German television crime show Tatort ( Crime Scene ) with it's alluring main melody. Another equally evocative instrumental piece, City Nord, creates an urban musical tribute to the band's hometown of Hamburg with a repeating rhythmic theme complete with commuter train rail effects which introduce and close the piece.

The band adapted very well to the need to create shorter compositions and preserved a romantic approach to their music still doing justice to the band's namesake, the psuedonym of mystic German poet Georg Friedrich Freiherr Von Hardenburg. The 4 vocal tracks are full of meloncholy and emotion which is evident even to non-German speaking listeners by the powerful shimmering tones of vocalist Fred Mulbock ( who also provides a Focus-like flute solo on the title track ) and occasional classical motif thrown in by masterful keyboardist/composer Lutz Rahn. Musically comlpex and dynamic throughout there isn't a weak track here. The standout is most definitely the final selection Die Welt Wir Alt Und Wieder Jung ( The World Is Old & Young Again) with it's Mozart-like intro and weeping violin part played by noted German master musician Walter Quintus, who also appears on the opening track, Geigenspieler, which romanticises a struggling street musician.

A superb album which covers a lot of ground in 6 thoughtful pieces. The lineup featured here was the band's most successful and this is perhaps the most accessible of all the Novalis albums providing a taste of sevral aspects of the band in this transitory period. Along with the previous Sommerabend and Brandung, Vieleicht bist Du ein Clown? with it's thought provoking cover art by Hipgnosis is among the band's most outstanding offerings.

Vibrationbaby | 4/5 |


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