Die Flippers

Es War Eine Wunderschöne Zeit

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One of the few traditional German schlager-pop acts still achieving mainstream success in the 21st Century, the Baden-Wurttemberg trio of Manfred Durban, Bernd Hengst, and Olaf Malolepski, aka Die Flippers, have shortened that list even further after announcing they are to split following a farewell tour and greatest-hits collection. Continuing their prolific run of releasing an album every year since 1975, their studio swan song, Es War Eine Wunderschöne Zeit, suggests that the group has been coasting for far too long, as other than the slight hints of '80s synth pop on "Ein Leises Lied im Wind" and "Sei Doch Mal Ehrlick," its 15 tracks could quite easily have been lifted from their self-titled debut. Longtime admirers of their rather niche sound will undoubtedly lap up the constant stream of jaunty singalong choruses, dated Euro folk-pop beats, and tinny brass riffs, especially the closing ballad, "Ihr Bleibt für Immer in Unsern Herzen," which pays tribute to their adoring fan base. But other than the waltz-style ballad "Ohne Dich," the steel guitar hooks and baritone backing vocals of "La Isla Margarita," and the Latin-tinged "Flamenco del Sol," others will find it hard to find any notable differences between the majority of its old-school cabaret numbers. After 35 years together, Die Flippers have certainly earned their "institution of German pop" status, but Es War Eine Wunderschöne Zeit's tired sound proves that the decision to bow out now is a wise one.

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