Album: "Devolution"
Label: A Different Drum (2003)
Style: Synth-pop
Songs: 14


Reviewed by: Darklight

While De/Vision has been making music since the early 90s, and have seven full-length recordings released, my first introduction to their music has just been recently with the domestic release of their remix CD entitled Remixed. Since I really like Remixed, I decided to pick up this latest De/Vision recording entitled Devolution. Unfortunately, itís not quite the exciting release that I was hoping for.

Iím not a big fan of typical traditional melodic synth-pop music. And thatís exactly what the music on this Devolution CD is. Itís laid-back, relaxed and soothing romantic synth-pop music for the masses. I personally like a little darkness and EBM elements in the synth-pop that I listen to. But this music is light, bright and positive with an overall tame feel.

While this recording isnít really my thing, I must admit that itís definitely good for what it is. Itís nicely produced and polished with well developed songs throughout. Well textured electronic programming and beats overlay uplifting cheerful melodies as clear, slightly accented, male vocals sing along perfectly. All the proper ingredients are definitely included here to please fans of synth-pop.

My main complaint is that the band doesnĎt offer enough variety here. All of the songs play at a slow to mid-tempo pace. This makes the album drag along a little too slowly all the way through. It would have been nice if the band had included some energetic dance tracks to break up the monotony a bit. While there are a couple of occasions when things pick up the pace a little bit, itís still not fast enough for club play.

Fans of newer music released by Covenant, Depeche Mode and Wolfsheim will especially enjoy this recording. Itís soft, relaxing, laid-back, soothing synth-pop music that is easy to listen to. But if you like a little more kick to your synth-pop, you might want to pass on this. Thereís nothing offered here that could be considered dance music.


Album: "Remixed"
Label: Metropolis Records (2002)
Style: Synth-pop
Songs: 10


Reviewed by: Darklight

De/Vision is a German synth-pop band that have been around for many years, but have never had their albums released domestically until now. Since Iím not the biggest fan of synth-pop music, I never imported their CDs. But two things prompted me to get this recording: 1) Metropolis Records released it domestically and 2) Itís a íbest ofí compilation of remixed songs that De/Vision fans picked.

The main problem that I usually have with synth-pop music is that itís a bit too tame and mellow for my tastes. However, when itís remixed itís usually given an energetic kick that makes it more appealing to me. And while I havenít heard the original versions of any of these tracks before, I have to assume that theyíre more energetic now as each and every one of them could work out on the dance floor.

Basically, the songs offered here are crisp, clean and smooth created with fast paced electronic rhythms and beats over beautiful melodies. Guitars make an appearance from time to time as well which is a nice touch giving the songs a little more oomph. Every song does include deep and clear accented male vocals that sing with passion.

While the primary sound of the songs here is indeed synth-pop, other elements make their way into the mix as well including techno, trance, house, dub and drum Ďní bass giving the songs a somewhat EBM/future pop sound that is more exciting than just standard synth-pop.

Every song here is good offering nice diversity and variety allowing them all to stand out as hits. This is, after all, a collection of fan favorites. While every song is rather energetic, theyíre not just flat out high BPM dance tracks. They offer a lot of mood and feeling as well giving them a deeper more emotional side. But I would dare anyone to sit still while any of them played in clubs.

This CD will most likely appeal to those who enjoy both synth-pop and future pop music similar to Beborn Beton, Colony 5, Covenant, Depeche Mode, Mesh, Neuroactive, Neuroticfish, Silent Promises and Wolfsheim.