Robert Görl

Night Full of Tension

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On his own after the breakup of German electro-minimalists DAF, drummer/synthesist Robert Gorl went solo with an album not far removed from his old band's final recordings. The main difference is that Gorl takes the mic for the first time, and sings in English -- in an angst-ridden voice similar to the Bowie-influenced frontmen common to synth pop acts at the time. But while he makes a credible stand-in for former DAF singer Gabi Delgado, Gorl's lyrics on Night Full of Tension are as scaled down as the music: "Love between the east and west/Could be the best" is the sole sentiment of "Queen King," and other songs don't go much deeper. Perhaps something got lost in the translation, but in other respects, the album displays its Deutschland origins proudly. It's full of Kraftwerk-derived grooves, the coolly precise synths and drum machines making songs like "Playtime" and "Love in Mind" attractive and danceable, if not earth-shaking. Meanwhile, Eurythmics vocalist Annie Lennox appears on a few tracks, although it's hard to say she adds any warmth; her plaintive wails on the single "Darling Don't Leave Me" are more creepy than reassuring. Amidst the high-tech surroundings, one song does stand out -- "Gewinn Wir Die Beste Der Frauen" is Gorl's version of a 13th century German poem, featuring him behind a real drum kit, bashing away beneath a slow, tuneless jam.

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