Friday, February 26, 2010

Trans-Europe Express (1977)

"Showroom Dummies" The train travel theme that runs throughout is pretty much just a variation and continuation of the 22-minute "Autobahn" of a couple of years earlier (Kraftwerk: Music Made for Travel™). But that doesn't mean this doesn't mark a giant step forward not only for Ralf, Florian & crew but for all of electronic pop music as well, a departure from previous form itself equally rooted in the warp and woof of "Autobahn." From aimless boop-boop-bip-boop-beep to melody-driven toonage rich with lush flourishes and lovely hooks and, most surprising of all for this bunch, at least to me, cracking good humor, just about everything here is nothing less than perfectly splendid. A fun way to pass time: contemplate the cover art while "Showroom Dummies" plays loud (inspirational lyric: "We are showroom dummies"). "The Hall of Mirrors" manages the same kind of stunt, but then finds a way to wedge in an inescapable sense of profundity while they're at it, viz., "Even the greatest stars discover themselves in the looking glass." Train leaving the station. All aboard!

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