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Neu! - Neu! CD (album) cover





4.08 | 326 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars 7/10

Neu!'s self titled debut is the spinal cord of the band's career.

When considering Krautrock as a whole, Neu! Are one of the first projects to pop into mind. This duo from Dusseldorf has been extremely influential for a very wide range of genres, from Ambient to Punk. The self titled debut album of theirs is acclaimed as a masterpiece of the genre, a perfect Krautrock model.

Neu! Have a very distinct and unique sound, which makes it question their position of being the most typical band of the genre. All the songs feature strong repetition, determined and solid rhythms that never fade out or change, accompanied by guitars with different effects, the only element that gives some sort of change during the course of a song. The atmosphere might be calm or more tense, peaceful or more chaotic, but this formula will never change, at least not for this album. As a consequence all of the songs are very stretched out, despite not being extremely long (the maximum length on this album for a track is about ten minutes).

The only problem about this album is that although well planned, executed, and everything else, it has no meat to it, it has only the spinal cord. Here we have an album that relies mostly on structure, and not specifically on the music. Then again, if this album did have more meat to it, it would have been a masterpiece, and probably the following albums would not have been so, unless the duo went towards a completely different direction. This album could have overshadowed everything else Neu! did in the future, but, thank God, it didn't.

These are minor complaints that don't at all affect the entertainment this album gives, when looking upon some of the songs here: "Hallogallo" is one of the best, most memorable and well constructed songs by the band, an instant classic that mixes robotic, futuristic atmospheres with deeply human emotions. Among the more lively songs, the dreadful and torturous "Negativland" has a creepy feel to it that isn't easy to forget, while among the more experimental and mellower songs, the minimalistic "Lieber Honig", the Ambient based tracks "Im Gluck" and "Sonderangebot", not to forget the more optimistic sounding "Weissensee", give a further hint of originality to the picture.

Neu!'s debut is no doubt an important release not only for the band but for Krautrock in general, to the point where this kind of value comes before the music itself. It is a very entertaining album nevertheless, essential listening for anyone who loves the genre.

EatThatPhonebook | 4/5 |


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