REVIEWER: Matthew J.
Playing classic European synthpop with just a touch of modern flair, Divamee excel largely thanks to lead singer Lysz, who imbues the band's often stark analog sequences and pulsing drum machines with a more human element. While the glassy synthesizers of the vintage-sounding "Engel" and the warm bass modulations of "Traumwelt" are sure to appeal to old school electronic music fans, it's Lysz's soaring soprano on "EndZeit (Fur Tiere)" and lilting but energetic vocals on the cheery "Sandman" that give this album a broader appeal. The album is sung largely in the band's native German, and it's the English-language offerings that are its most uneven, especially "Alles Dreht Sich," a bleak number that tries to raise awareness of topical issues but just comes off as hectoring. Much better is "Tsunami Task Force," which features rapid-fire spoken delivery over a speedy swirl of bass-heavy beats and loops; crashing down as relentlessly as the titular tidal wave, it has a real urgency to it that conveys the intensity of its environmental message instead of just coming off as a guilt trip. If that sounds a bit heavy and topical for a synthpop act, it certainly seems to be where the band's passion lies, but they're capable of writing solid break-up songs, as well; "No Way Out" is a classic lovelorn ballad with minor-key vocals set to an appealingly buzzy analog bass line. Similarly, while most of the album's offerings tend toward the classic synthpop sound, its most stirring track is its most modern; "Sehnsucht" starts off with understated electronics before building into a driving dance number backed by trance-influenced choral sequences. Once again, though, the real attraction is Lysz's voice, multi-tracked and layered into a rich harmony that brings a sense of humanity to the machine-perfect synthesizers and programmed beats. Rooted in classic synthpop but bringing in enough modern elements not to sound dated, Divamee are sure to appeal to fans of '80s acts like Trans-X and Yazoo as well as more modern acts like Client.
For more information, visit the Divamee website at www.divamee.de
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