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Kraftwerk - Trans-Europe Express [Aka: Trans-Europa Express] CD (album) cover




Progressive Electronic

3.94 | 318 ratings

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3 stars If ever you would hate the synth-pop of the eighties, one might well say that this album is best to be avoided but I wouldn't say so.

''Kraftwerk'' did invent the style and were far better inspired than lots of followers (although I liked some of the genuine ones like OMD for instance).

One shouldn't necessarily look for diversity and craziness in this album: just a fine musical moment which was maybe not ahead of its time any longer at the time of release (they were quite repeating themselves after ''Autobahn'' and ''Radio Activity'') but still funny for the rioting teenager I was back then (''White Riot'').

The same repetitive and obsessed beat during the long ''Europe Endless'' which I would have liked to get in their previous effort (''Radio Activity'') which was more made of short tracks. On the contrary, this album holds longer compositions. I'm not going to tell you that this will bring more variety to their music, but at least it will help developing their repetitive sounds to a certain limit (the maximum was reached during ''Autobahn'' of course).

As I have said previously, I was never embarrassed with the choice of language in terms of ''Kraftwerk'' lyrics. Was it a German release? Fine. An English one? Fine as well. Since English recordings were much more widespread hence cheaper, I was confronted with the latter version back then.

Some songs are on the boring side to tell you the truth (''Hall of Mirrors'', ''Showroom Dummies''). No feeling, little melody and no need to tell you: no passion. A cold German stuff, no more. But this will lead to the whole cold wave which will invade Europe some three years later and to which I was quite receptive (but only to a short list of bands).

I quite like the glorious title track and its famous phrase: ''From Station To Station back to Dusseldorf City, Meet Iggy Pop and David Bowie''. It sounds as a kind of homage back to dear old David who was deeply inspired by ''Kraftwerk'' (at least it is how I feel) while he was recording ''Low'' (but as may people, I consider ''Station To Station'' as the start of the ''Berlin Trilogy'').

This is in any case a fine way to be grateful to another artist who was deeply influenced by some of their previous recordings. The second leg of the song ''Metal On Metal'' is almost as irresistible.

I wouldn't say that this is a major step forward in the history of music (being electronic). The band had done it already prior to this one. Still, it is a good album which deserves an attentive ear from anyone who would like to discover the European electronic music.

Three stars.

ZowieZiggy | 3/5 |


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