Kreidler

Appearance and the Park

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    6
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AllMusic Review by

Though in many ways Appearance and the Park is merely a continuation and slight development of earlier Kreidler motifs and approaches, there are also enough tweaks and explorations here and there on the overall approach which help make the album more than just a pleasant listen. The slight but noticeable rhythm time shift on opener "Tuesday" is in many ways a seismic one, in that it gives a sense that Kreidler are willing to play around a bit and see what happens. There's also more of a sense of a scope of inspiration beyond early '70s days in Europe and the Caribbean, with hints of the chilled experimental post-punk of England and Germany seeping into many compositions. Arrangements are often (though not always -- check "Necessity Now" for an example otherwise) fuller, and perhaps even more playful than before, though not necessarily in a conventionally pretty sense. "Good Morning City," in particular, suggests some of the quirky Japanese influence hinted at in the liner notes, a bit like if Yellow Magic Orchestra and late-'90s Momus teamed up, though without vocals. The increased use of just-on-the-edge-of-hearing frequencies -- quirky synth swirls and tones in particular -- suggest that there's even more to the songs than might be apparent on first blush. Keyboards are more actively used, at points not merely as shading or counterpoint melody, but with a more upfront role, as the brief "Plus" and the lovely "Coldness" demonstrate. The tense "Il Sogno di Una Casa" almost suggests Joy Division in ways -- not entirely, to be sure, but there's still something there -- while "Au-Pair" could almost be a smooth Roxy Music ballad in ways (though the rhythm section is still definitely rooted in steady motorik chug, with some especially fine bass from Stefan Schneider).

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