Nena

Jamma Nich

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AllMusic Review by

It was a true summit meeting of German female pop: Nena writing songs together with Annette Humpe (who had been a major figure in the breakthrough of German new wave as lead singer of the band Ideal from 1980 to 1982) and Luci van Org (who had been the only girl to ever at least partially emulate Nena's style with success in the '90s as part of the duo Lucilectric). Although the resulting album wasn't necessarily "greater than the sum of its parts" (human "chemistry" just doesn't always follow mathematical expectations of "adding up"), it does have its fair share of nifty pop songs. The album has a specific synth pop tendency, with guitar sounds pushed more into the background than usual. A second new slant comes in the form of Nena toying with uncharacteristic verbal aggressiveness. It starts with the title track, "Jamma Nich" (meaning "Don't Complain"), and there are a few instances of "strong language" in some songs (reflecting a growing trend in German entertainment of the time). The second single, "Alles Was Du Willst," although probably chosen for its hit potential based on its tuneful appropriation of Euro-dance, possibly didn't go down too well with its targeted "demographic" because the refrain of "you can't have everything you want" might well have been something that the "I want it all and I want it now" crowd wouldn't really want to hear. But don't get the wrong impression; the album's atmosphere is definitely "sunny and light," Nena's very own "feel-good factor" making a definite return after the moodier preceding album, Und Alles Dreht Sich. Since then she had also given birth to her son Samuel, and her son Simeon was born just about a month after the new album was released. The album's formula might have worn thin had Nena stuck to it, but as it is, it remains a unique kind of semideparture in her catalog, crucially including "shoulda been hits" in songs like "Kaputt," "Heute Bin Ich Gar Nicht Lieb" ("I'm Not at All Nice Today"), and "Ganz Gelassen" ("Unperturbed").

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