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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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Prog Reviewer
4 stars 8/10

"The Man Machine" is the first Kraftwerk album that feels of not human pulse.

If Kraftwerk had stopped making music after "Trans Europe Express", they would still be recognized as one of the great Krautrock bands. Yet, the year following that album, they release "The Man Machine", an album that went beyond anything they did previously. 1978 was one of the years where Disco music was big, and Dance music musicians like Giorgio Moroder were starting a completely new trend. Whether that kind of music was an influence on Kraftwerk or the band simply developed such a mature sound all by themselves, it was clear anyway that the times were changing, the music was changing.

Compared to previous albums, "The Man Machine" is so much more elaborate musically: the synth sounds are really hard hitting, as well as the drum machine, that is an obvious Disco influence. Even the melodies are more accessible, not at all creepy (compared to "Trans Europe Express"), more suited for the dancefloor and for moving in general. It seems that some sounds pioneer genres like House and Electro because of their strong, accessible, and danceable feeling. It could seem a bit of a turn-off at first by the die-hard haters of mainstream Electronic, but however, Kraftwerk still stick on a few tracks to their sound characteristic of a few of the previous works, that the audience would be more used to; meaning the shy vocals and the more "intelligent" synth sounds and more progressive attitudes. Repetition here, like in many Kraftwerk albums, is key, for both the danceable tunes and the more traditional ones.

"The Robots", "The Model", and the splendid title track are the songs that show the typical, dancy side of the album: "The Model" was released as a single, while "The Robots", the opening track, simply entered in the collective imagination of Kraftwerk fans. The other songs are much more similar to ones coming from previous works, like "Spacelab", and "Neon Light". "Metropolis" stands in my book midway between these two types of songs, having an irresistible rhythm and at the same time having more calm and soothing synth melodies.

"The Man Machine" is another one of those classics that, in a way, was essential for the formation of new Electronic genres: if this release in particular did not help the formation of something like House music, then it certainly helped the formation of Electronic music that mixed with Progressive or experimented a whole lot.

EatThatPhonebook | 4/5 |


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