Okay, where do I start? "Electric Cafe" is a masterpiece. Their best album. Not only does it possess the streamlined economy of sound prevalent in other Kraftwerk albums, it combines that with real, cutting wit. I mean, how funny is "Boing boom tschak"? It's not supposed to be taken completely seriously! The rhythms have been honed and layered with precision and calculation. The album is very calculated. Everything is perfect. Everything is there for a reason, and the music woulnd't work without it. For example, the echo stopping the third time the voice says "boing boom tschak" at the very start. If the echo was there as with the first two times, the feel of the music would be very different. One must also point out the variety of sounds on this album is far greater than on any other Kraftwerk album (except "The Mix"). They really used the synths, samplers, vocoders and Robovox (their own synthetic voice generator) to maximum advantage. There are analogue "bleeps" here galore - bent, twisted and coloured with digital processors (every sound is meticulously detailed if you listen closely enough). There are synthetic strings, there are umpteen different snare, bass drum and cymbal emulations. Synthesised guitars. A plethora of new synthetic sounds, more extravagantly detailed than ever before by Kraftwerk and than any songs I have heard coming out these days. Loads of synthetic voices, some blatantly robotic and some very human sounding - "Speak&Spell" could have made a cameo, though! As for the ludicrous insults the title track has suffered in others' reviews, here are some of its lyrics: "aesthetic form, political art, dietary cuisine, in the atomic age". Raising concepts, raising issues, simply and with ambivalence! That's what art should do, and here are Messrs Hutter and Schneider isolating aspects of our modern "atomic age" for the listener to contemplate and evaluate for him or herself. The song is a work of art. The album as a whole lacks thematic omnipotence in that it concentrates rather more on the lonely, depersonalised side of modern living. It's a very social album - tracks like "Sex Object" and "The Telephone Call". I think it could have done with one or two more tracks, about other sides of modern life - office atmosphere, consumer fashions, television soaps, and so on, but I suppose that was all dealt with in the previous "Computer World" album. All in all, "Electric Cafe" is Kraftwerk coming down to the ground level. Technology is sex. Machines are sex. The so-called cold and sterile computer screen can be as "warm" as any human face. You just have to want it. In the end, language doesn't matter, because sound, rhythm and colour communicate so much more. "Boing boom tschak" indeed, because verbal language is dead. Technology could bring about our demise (ie "Terminator" territory) or it could seriously advance humanity onto a new stage, or both. Of course, anything is possible. "Electric Cafe" points to a new era of art.