Tin Drum was the band's one and only masterpiece. This is cutting edge stuff, merging world music influences with modern technology to create a remarkably distinctive blend of music . African rhythms, oriental melodies,pulsing synths, and Mick Karn's elastic basslines, cohere, to form an album that is refreshing,primal,and hypnotic.'Talking drum' is dominated by a remarkably bouncy,fluid bassline, 'Still life in mobile homes' is a striking, fast paced opener, dominated by staccato oriental synths and interesting samples, and 'Visions of China' is possibly 'Tin drum's most accessible song, Jansen's hypnotic drumming embellished by Karn's compelling bass.
There's danceability,ambience,and eerie atmospherics aplenty here.'Ghosts' is pure poetry and a spartan classic,that actually reached the top 10. 'Sons of Pioneers', another spartan litany of Burundi drumming and virtuoso bass playing, marks itself out as the best song, alongside 'Canton', the most overtly 'oriental' song of the album and a definite classic. Mesmerising.The lilting, marimba laden 'Cantonese Boy' is probably the most beautiful 'dance' song, and was another unlikely hit. No doubt about it, the band's glammed up image was at odds with their ambitious music. but they were purveying art here, make no mistake.