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Kraftwerk - The Man-Machine (Die Mensch-Maschine) CD (album) cover

THE MAN-MACHINE (DIE MENSCH-MASCHINE)

Kraftwerk

 

Progressive Electronic

3.91 | 253 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

R-A-N-M-A
4 stars These days, Kraftwerk is often thought of as a relic of a by-gone era of hardcore German expressionism; a punch line to be used by Mike Myers in one of his hilarious "Sprockets" skits from SNL. That is exactly what I thought until about the 4th time I listened to The Man-Machine.

After that, I was able to hear them for what they actually are, the godfathers of modern pop and electronic music. In my opinion their skill generally far exceeds that of those who would imitate or follow in their footsteps. Man-Machine is a synthesis of catchy pop, exclusively minimalist electronic music and a measure of psychedelic wanderlust, all while remaining a near uniformly upbeat. I have to say I am still more than a little bit surprised how much I like Kraftwerk.

The more pop oriented offerings are "The Model", the only track I'm not really partial to and the goofy but still very good "The Robots." The rest of the album is made up of meandering near instrumental tracks built around their own central musical theme "Spacelab," "Metropolis" and "The Man-Machine". Some of these are out of this world, but the absolute highlight of the album for me is the 9 minute delight Neon Lights. It's a track that I just don't want to end and thankfully it's in no hurry. As the title suggests it's a very bright and slightly delicate track. Musically, it's mostly just a well laid set of staccato sequencer effects.

In spite of what preconceived notions you have about Kraftwerk, I highly recommend The Man-Machine. While it does require a bit of an ear for minimalist music it is ultimately able to transcend the genre rather well. As long as you can at least keep an open mind you'll be fine. Four stars out of five.

R-A-N-M-A | 4/5 |

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