LABEL: Metropolis Records
REVIEWER: Matthew J.
It's no wonder De/Vision is one of Germany's most popular synthpop bands, given their ability to synthesize (no pun intended) the most accessible aspects of nearly every other band in the scene, mainstream and underground alike. Their latest album opens with "Mandroids," a combination of Covenant's minimalist techno-infused rhythms, Funker Vogt's military science fiction themes, and of course the Depeche Mode-inspired croons of lead singer Steffen Keth. Always a major influence on De/Vision, shades of Depeche Mode also appear on "Plastic Heart," with its echoing analog synth sounds and understated beats, and "Ready to Die," with its pairing of pop sensibilities and more mechanical, even experimental sounds in the rhythm section. Several tracks go for all-out dance floor domination, with "Time to Be Alive" incorporating in uplifting progressive house elements and "Twisted Story" bringing a bass line that stomps hard enough for the EBM crowd, then pairing it with a surprisingly tender chorus, and the album's standout track, "Flash of Life," is all minimal bass, infectious melody and gorgeous vocal hooks. "What's Love All About" and "Be a Light to Yourself," on the other hand, fulfill the album's ballad quotient with slick keyboards and emotive crooning. De/Vision hardly break new ground with this album, but as always, it's perfectly written, performed and produced.
Visit De/Vision online at www.devision-music.de.
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