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
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
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.
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