Munich Machine

A Whiter Shade of Pale

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Giorgio Moroder was certainly one of the premier innovators of the disco genre, a man who was idolized and imitated in equal portions, and who instructed up-and-comers in the ways of hitmaking. He's a man who made superstars out of stars (think Donna Summer's "Love to Love You Baby") and stars out of nobodies. Usually. With his fingers busy in so many pies, it was hard to keep track of Moroder's doings. But as often as he would shine, there were times when even his gold didn't quite glitter. And Munich Machine, a Giorgio Moroder/Pete Bellotte synthfest, sadly is one of those stumbling blocks. Even the title track, a Euro-trashed and disco-fied take on Procol Harum's prog staple "A Whiter Shade of Pale," couldn't raise the standard of this set. It's packed with Moroder's trademarked synthetic trance staples and even the crossover strains of "I Feel Love" have been woven throughout. But they didn't help. Munich Machine continues in much the same vein for the rest of the album. From "La Nuit Blanche" to "It's All for You," which sounds infuriatingly like some other title-on-the-tip-of-your-tongue song altogether, A Whiter Shade of Pale is exactly what its title implies. It sounds like Moroder, it looks like Moroder, but if his name weren't on the cover, one would be tempted to cry out "tired imposter," proving that even icons are allowed gray days sometimes.

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