Album: "Aggressor"
Label: Metropolis Records (2004)
Style: EBM / Synth-pop
Songs: 12


Reviewed by: Darklight

And One's previous release Virgin Superstar was a very commercial sounding electro-pop album with a lot of sugary sweet sounding pop tunes. It had a couple of stand out hits, but overall sounded a little too mainstream for my tastes.

Usually once a band starts heading in a more commercial direction, they continue to go further with that sound on each album that follows. Thankfully, And One didn't do this and decided to go back to their roots on this Aggressor release delivering more underground style EBM/synth-pop hybrid music.

This is a consistent CD with every song fitting together and sticking to a similar style throughout. The overall sound presented here is mid to fast paced synth-pop with layered programming, deep bass beats, beautiful melodies and thick German accented vocals. There's an EBM edge to some of the songs as well offering a slightly rougher and harder sound. This gives good contrast to the CD keeping it from getting redundant. There's a few songs here that lean toward the lighter and softer side of synth-pop, but are still enjoyable.

All of the lyrics in the songs are in German, and I'm sort of thankful for this because I don't understand German, so if the lyrics are cheesy, I don't know it. Therefore, I can enjoy the songs strictly for the sounds, beats, melodies and emotional vocals without bad lyrics ruining the fun.

I'm rather pleased that there are no slow songs on the CD. There are some that are mellower than others, but nothing is so slow that it's boring. Almost every song is fairly energetic with driving beats and catchy choruses.

Every song blends into the next showing that a lot of thought went into the track layout. So the album flows fluidly from start to finish with no snags along the way.

The only song that sort of sounds out of place is track ten "Fernsehapparat". The music is slightly more experimental and repetitive, and the vocals are done by a different singer that has a less appealing high-pitched voice. The song isn't terrible, but doesn't really fit on the CD.

This is a very high quality smooth flowing album with a clean and polished production. And One is one of the bigger synth-pop bands making music today for a reason...they're good.


Album: "Virgin Superstar" (2000)
Label: Virgin
Style: Electro-pop
Songs: 11


Reviewed by: Darklight

This And One CD offers German synth-pop music similar to the latest releases by Armageddon Dildos and Evil’s Toy. Volker Lutz of Evil’s Toy even wrote one of the songs on this album.

The songs delivered here are extremely clean and polished upbeat electro-pop tunes with energetic uplifting electronic programming, beautifully orchestrated synth melodies, piano, driving beats and deep powerful German accented male vocals and female backing vocals.

The first four songs “Virgin Superstar”, “Wasted”, “You Don’t Love Me Anymore” and “Goodbye Germany” are extremely commercial in their sound, and would play well on any pop radio station. The album takes a slightly different turn on track five with “Wet Spot”. This song is somewhat dark and features creepy female spoken word with melodic male vocals that sing the chorus. Track six “Panzermench” is a heavy and aggressive industrial song with German lyrics. It sounds like Rammstein, but without guitars. Tracks seven through ten “My Story”, “Life To Lose”, “Not The Only One” and “Don’t Need The Drugs” all sound rather similar in their development. They’re the most honest songs on this album with a serious dark synth-pop sound. It’s a shame that the entire album couldn’t have stuck to this same more honest serious tone.

While the first four songs are indeed good, they’re a bit too commercial for my tastes. Tracks five and six are good as well, but do sound a bit out of place here. The final track “Mr. Jenka” is a good closing song. It’s a slow romantic ballad that ends the CD well.

While there’s not a bad track to be found here, some stand out more than others. A different track layout might have allowed the album to flow better. There’s a lot of variety here, but some songs just don’t seem to work where they’re at.

I am hoping that And One realizes that their best work is their more honest dark synth-pop material and leave the upbeat cheerful sounding commercial electro-pop off their next release.

*Consumer Alert from Rabies!
Be forwarned, that this CD sounds like a compilation between two different bands; One band supplied the dark industrial club hits we all love ("Panzermensch", and "Wasted") while the other band supplied commercial pop cheese ballads bound to make you puke. 'Acquire' the above mentioned songs, but leave this CD on the racks. ~Rabies