OK, as an old-school Alphaville fan, and a very active one at that, I was a bit sceptical when I first heard the clips from each song before the album was released here in Germany. Even my first impressions upon listening to the album were not as positive as they might have been. That may have been clouded by my opinion that Alphaville could never make a real mainstream comeback in the sense of how everyone understands the word comeback (actually, they've never really been away and have worked on their internet project and have been constantly touring since the mid 1990s), especially in the UK, where they are only really known for Big In Japan, although if you're a fan of Jay-Z, you will have heard the classic Alphaville anthem Forever Young sampled in his track, Young Forever.
So I have been trying to avoid tenuous links to old Alphaville albums and songs and have been trying to see this album for what it really is. After a million listens I can now say...it's a damn good pop album and, if promoted well enough, could really result in a huge comeback for Alphaville in the true sense of the word!
On first listening, I didn't really hear the songs for what they are. There are some really solid, well-produced pop songs on this album. The first track - Song For No One - is a bit ridiculous but is a damn catchy tune!
Track 2, I Die For You Today (the first single from the album to be released in Germany), harkens back to the days of 80s synthpop with a 2010 twist and is a great sing-along track.
Track 3, End Of The World, in my opinion, is the weakest, although it too is very catchy and rather rockier than the others.
Track 4, The Things I Didn't Do, again in my opinion, has the most ridiculous lyric and annoying female backing vocalists but I'm sure the words mean something to songwriter and main man and vocalist Marian Gold (whose vocals are still as pure, beautiful and as recognisable as they were in the early 80s).
Track 5, Heaven On Earth, is one of those tracks that cause physical pain on listening to it because of its sheer beauty and poignant lyric as does track 6, The Deep, which could be a strong candidate for a single release.
Track 7, Call Me, is a real 80s-style track, completely catchy and an extremely strong candidate for a single release that could even make it big on the UK singles charts.
Track 8, Gravitation Breakdown, is a real rock track with added synths and one to be played loud!
Track 9, Carry Your Flag, is well known to die hard Alphaville fans as this is one of three versions that have been released since the early 2000s. It is a homage from Marian Gold to all the fans who have stuck by the band through thick and thin, through good times and bad. It's a beautiful song with a special meaning to all Alphaville fans everywhere.
Track 10, Call Me Down, is the first Alphaville track not to feature Marian Gold on lead vocals (instead this is keyboardist Martin Lister, who does an admirable job), although he features on the verses in the song. This track is reminiscent of Depeche Mode in some parts and is another strong track.
Track 11, Phantoms, is the most like "old" Alphaville and has a very strong 80s sound.
The final track, Miracle Healing, is another old favourite of die hard Alphaville fans everywhere and is here in another version.
I honestly haven't been able to turn this album off since I received it (except for to go to bed!) and that's not because I'm an Alphaville die-hard. Truly, Alphaville die-hards like me are the hardest to please. I really like this album and thoroughly enjoy listening to it. It has a mix of 60s/70s soft rock pop and 80s synthpop all blanketed in a 2010 icing. Maybe with this one, Alphaville will actually make it big in Japan!
Young and old listeners alike, give it a chance. You will be bopping along with the best of them, guaranteed! You won't regret it!Catching Rays on Giant