Blank & Jones

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Monument Review

by Rick Anderson

Unlike most DJs, the German duo of Piet Blank and Jaspa Jones actually write some of their own music. Hence this impressive album, the duo's fourth, which consists almost entirely of original compositions. Would that it also consisted almost entirely of original beats, but alas, most everything thumps along in predictable Euro-dance fashion, with the exception of the wonderfully funky and breakbeat-based title track. What redeems the sameness of the beats, though, is the shifting array of fine vocalists, the lush atmospheres, and the unabashedly sweet melodies that dominate the album. More impressively, the singers even make it possible to overlook the songs' giddily horrible lyrics ("Like a ghost that came from an old beginning/You heated up a freezing destiny," etc.). "Mind of the Wonderful" and "Perfect Silence" are two highlight tracks, but the one that's going to move retail units is the duo's adaptation of the old Cure song "A Forest," on which Robert Smith himself contributes vocals. This one being the centerpiece of the album, it's presented here in three separate mixes. Nice stuff.

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