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Kraftwerk - The Man-Machine [Aka: Die Mensch-Maschine] CD (album) cover




Progressive Electronic

3.95 | 345 ratings

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Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Machine, machine, machine!!

This review should have been written at least one month ago when i was really excited with Kraftwerk, after having seen them twice in concert as the support act of Radiohead, and believe me, despite their setlist was exactly the same both days, I truly enjoyed both performances, they are a great band and without a doubt their influence in lots of bands or even music genres was remarkable, if you want to listen to an example of electronic prog, then you should listen to Kraftwerk early works, and also if you like any kind of electronic music, you must listen to them and you may understand better your nowadays electronic music.

This album entitled The Man Machine (English version) or Die Mensch-Maschine (German version) was released in 1978 and is my personal record of this german band, they have also other great albums such as Autobahn, Kraftwerk 2 or Trans Europe Express, but I believe that their peak was with this extraordinary release.

The album kicks off with "Die Roboter" which since the very beginning will show you the kind of spacey electronic mood music that the band makes, one of the features of this band is their use of "robotic vocals", I mean you will listen to some lyrics but the impression you get is not from a human, but from a robot, so in a certain way their music was kind of futuristic.

The next song is "Spacelab" and it starts with a sound that will make you think there is a machine coming from somewhere, like waking up through some steam caps, then after a few seconds the electronic drumming begins and the song really starts there, the only word pronounced during the song is Spacelab, again with robotic voice, the keyboard work is very catchy and nice, even danceable at some moments, but the song despite being repetitive, is very cool. I believe the fact that being so repetitive is not a con, it is a pro, that repetitiveness is what make you stay tuned to the music and don't want to skip the song.

Then we have" Metropolis", I believe the album may have been a one song album divided in 6 episodes, though all of them are different, there are moments alike in all their songs, maybe the mood, the use of spacey elements etc, but that makes the album great, this song stars with a slow tempo but little by little it is developing and creating a very interesting sound, again the keyboards and electronic drumming are at it's peak.

The following track is probably the better known and most popular off the album since it was a single, "Das Modell" whose sound is very catchy and addictive to the listener, and different from the previous songs, here we listen to normal human vocals, with complete sentences, not just words like in the most of their songs, here we will even find some keyboard solo which makes the song even better, one of my favourite tracks without a doubt.

"Neon Licht", a very good song, however, it is my least favorite from this album, I use to love the longest songs of the records but this is not the case, despite their almost 9 minute length when one may imagine the song has several changes or their creativity creates something different, well, that does not happen here, my emphasis is because I don't feel that excited with this song like with the other ones, however, the composition is still great and the pure musical moments are cool.

The album finishes with my favourite song, the title track and the song they used to open their shows, the song that caught my attention and that always make me repeat the word machine, a clear example of their music, and also a clear example of what a recent or newer artist would name as one of their main influences, it cannot be denied.

So let me say something, this is not the typical prog rock record that us, the prog lovers will love at first sight, so if you are open to something electronic then I highly recommend you this album, if you are not open, then continue with the kind of prog you prefer.

For me 4 stars, enjoy it!!

memowakeman | 4/5 |


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