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Neu! - Neu! CD (album) cover





4.08 | 325 ratings

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3 stars Neu! produces music in the "rhythmic" part of krautrock, along with the likes of Krafwerk and Can. In fact, krautrock isn't so much a genre as a movement- it's so diverse, encompassing endless grooves (Neu!), experimental rock (Faust), avant-garde, funk-influenced rock (Can), cosmic floating (Tangerine Dream), electronica (Kraftwerk), and much more, and Neu! is one of the leaders of this movement. The problem with this album is consistency- it ranges from stunningly awesome to stunningly boring, all in 46 minutes.

First, the good; Hallogallo is a pulsing, rhythmic masterpiece, with Dinger's superhuman drumming marching along as Rother's guitar and various effects swirl and fly in the background- if there ever was a song that exemplified the word "groovy" and "trippy", it's this- a ten-minute long trip for the ages.

After that is Sonderangebot, a five-minute stew of weird, random noise, electronic and otherwise. This would be really cool if there was something other than murky, orderless junk- as far as stews go, it's just water with chunks in it. Though the phrase gets thrown around a lot, I feel that I can say that this really isn't music- it's random noise. Sorry, but thats how I see it. Though, if you're in the right mood, it can hit you just right.

After that is Weissensee, which I can say is really good. It sounds almost exactly like an early Pink Floyd instrumental, and indeed people have though it was the Floyd while I was listening to it.

Im Gluck continues in the vein Sonderangebot probed- however, while Sonderangebot was random and unorganized, Im Gluck is murky and dull- I mean, seriously, seven minutes of water noises and a single, slowly changing drone, with maybe a seagull noise or something in the background? Maybe if you're high, but otherwise, no.

Then, then, out of nowhere, starting on a bed of jackhammers and female moaning... NEGATIVLAND! What a song this is, a triumphant statement of all music. The best I can describe the sound is; Dinger's godly drumming, with the sounds of an aircraft carrier deck in the background- it plays out like a more aggressive, awesome version of Hallogallo, but more interesting, because there's more change going on here. And just when it looked bleak... what a song indeed.

But, it doesn't last, and eventually turns into Lieber Honig, which, against all logic abandons percussion altogether, focuses on dissonant, quiet guitar notes, and one of the worst vocal performances ever, before picking up a tin bit as a loud, monotonous drone comes to accompany the guitar, making it at least somewhat enjoyable- and then, the song dies in two minutes of water noises- not some of the best work ever here.

So, what do we have? Two amazing songs, taking up nearly half the album, one good song, and three near complete throwaways. I'll give it three stars, because you can just listen to Hallogallo, Weissensee, and Negativland, which are more than worth your money, if only to know what exactly Krautrock is built on.

Neurotarkus | 3/5 |


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