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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Political points at their best, 22 Nov 2002
This review is from: Berlin Cabaret Songs (Audio CD)
I personally consider myself to be left wing, politically. And I find that I agree with every political point this album makes. Not because it takes a political line - because it makes common sense. The pieces written on it to satirise the Wiemar Republic, it is quite chilling to realise how relevant their points still are.
Tackling everything from the views of the elite, in "The Smart Set", to Feminism in "Chuck out the men", gay rights in "The Lavender Song", to the degeneration of society in "It's all a swindle". Taking an apolitical line ("The left betrays, the right dismays", from "It's all a swindle"), the simple message of sense is hammered home through witty lines, good music, and the wonderful voice of Ute Lemper. "Munchhausen" is quickly becoming my favourite piece - it is also the longest - where a person describes their seeing a perfect world, where women have the choice of abortion, where Justices are truly just, where films are not propaganda features, where disarmament has happened, where 'nowhere will you see those flags which sport that *thing* that zigs, and zags'. Except the narrator of the story is Munchhausen - a man infamous for being a liar. Lemper's powerful voice does this piece perfect justice, capturing the hope of the perfect world, the dismay of it not being true, the hatred in the chorus, repeating in ever more bitter tones 'Liar, liar, liar liar liar ... but how I wish your lies were true', and finally the disillusionment; 'truth's as hard and tough as nails, that's why we need fairy tales'.
The booklet in the CD cover does a good job explaining the context, and relevance of the songs, for those who have no knowledge of the history that these songs were originally set in, and yet in a way it is unnecessary; the songs have proved unfortunately timeless. Although they contain a possible note of optimism, it should be noted that that optimism was 80 years ago - and we have made nearly no social progress since then. Why should the optimism be any more relevant now, than then?
I consider this album to be a wonderful piece of satire, a timeless comment of society both of the past, and the present. Even if sociological criticism isn't your thing, Ute Lemper's voice will melt your heart - I would recommend that anyone buy this.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, 25 Jun 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Berlin Cabaret Songs (Audio CD)
Cabaret songs are difficult to sing, in particular when they were written in the 1920's. Ute Lemper succeeds in making the music live again, and she recaptures some of hopes, desparation and anger of the time. Her ability to make the lyrics live through the music, and the music through the lyrics, is simply astounding. Unfortunately, it probably also means that one has to understand German in order to fully appreciate this recording: although Lemper's singing is a delight in itself, its effect is increased by the lyrics, and many of the nuances of this recording are accessible only through an understanding of the language. While this surely captures the spirit of cabaret music, it is a serious disadvantage for an otherwise splendid performance.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Degenerate Art, 2 Nov 2010
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Dr. Delvis Memphistopheles "FIST" (London) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Berlin Cabaret Songs (Audio CD)
Degenerate Music; that suppressed by National Socialism from 1932 onwards. Cabaret Music is a particular style belonging to its era. This is sung in German and unless you have a strong command of the language much of the irony/commentary will be missed.

Ute grew from a Lloyd Weber stalwart into a singer of the left field a rare achievement given the current state of British music and its pre occupation with MOR. These songs marked the brief spring thaw in Prussian preoccupation with discipline, belief and destiny. Between 1918-1933 following the defeat Berlin let its hair down, undid its buttons and gazed at Dix, Heartfield and Grosz paintings of itself. It also parodied its lusts and beliefs in these songs. Primarily about sex in different forms male love, girl love and man-women love Ute lets it all just flow.

The songs verge from cynicism to irony and maybe perhaps too vocal focused for a modern audience. There are no obvious melodies such as Mack the Knife or Alabama and they take time to sink into the cortex.

They are a profound document of an important time and this is where their power lies. They show the mores that Hiterlites wanted to suppress. Interestingly the Weimar society came to pass in the modern age. Whilst some decry the lack of blond hair beasts dressed in shiny black uniforms, this is just their fetish. It is parodied here in this collection in "The lavender song."
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0 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I didnt recieve this, 4 July 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Berlin Cabaret Songs (Audio CD)
There was a mix up with the post and didnt recieve this I believe that the money was returned to my account I dont think the seller was in any way responsible .

I have the songs in English but if you wish to increase your German Language knowledge and Culture of Gay berlin in the 20's you will enjoy this very witty collection of songs
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Berlin Cabaret Songs
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