Einsturzende Neubauten
Silence Is Sexy
Label ©  Mute U.S.
Release Year  2000
Length  1:08:38
Genre  Industrial
Personal Star Rating [1-5]  
  Ref#  E-0026
Bitrate  ~230 Kbps
    Track Listing:
      Silence Is Sexy  
      In Circles  
      Newtons Gravitaetlichkeit  
      Heaven is of Honey  
      Die Befindlichkeit des Landes  
      Total Eclipse of the Sun  
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      Einsturzende Neubauten have long made a career of taking a wrecking ball to the staid towers of musical convention. Their seminal industrial excess having become a musical institution in Germany--aligning them somewhat to the left of Kraftwerk and Can--they turn the wrecking ball on themselves on Silence Is Sexy. Employing aural texture, murmurs, hushed vocals, and, yes, silence, instead of the Sturm und Drang of collapsing buildings, monstrous machinery, and industrial decay, Silence defies all preconceived notions of what an Einsturzende Neubauten album should sound like. The title track manages to imbue long patches of complete silence with a backbeat and groove, proving their titular claim. Blixa Bargeld--perhaps having learned a thing or two about terrible beauty from his work with Nick Cave--imbues his deep-toned vocals with warmth and emotion, and while at moments the music can careen out of control, for the most part it wavers on the lower fringes of the sonic spectrum. Now that the sonic ceiling has been shattered, perhaps EN want to prove the complexity of silence. Ah, but not for long! Accompanying Silence Is Sexy is a second disc featuring the single, seemingly unending composition "Pelikonal," an improvised duet between a repeated vocal phrase and a drill--not much more pleasant than getting root canal. Yikes. --Tod Nelson

      Review by Andy Kellman

      Odds are no one banked on Einsturzende Neubauten lasting 20 years. What were the odds of such a destructive band surviving two decades? Did the Stooges ever stand a chance of writing a song called "1989"? More importantly, who would have thought that the milestone year would see the release of one of Neubauten's finest records? Though Silence Is Sexy might retain some of the band's recent song-based developments that have left some fans puzzled, its closest touchstone is 1987's Richterskala. They might not be as unsettling or destructive as they were in their early days, but they still know how to capture the imagination and warp the senses. As with Richterskala, restraint is a key element. The schlock of recent outings is done away with to focus more on stark restraint. Bargeld doesn't really let his vocal chords rip often, and their trademark clangorous overload isn't resorted to much. "Sabrina" is one of the tracks that brings to mind their excellent album from 1987. Swaying strings and plaintive percussive taps frame Blixa Bargeld's whispers as he waxes like a bawdier Bryan Ferry. Those who reveled in Neubauten's familiar undead bass sound will find the record goes down a treat. At nearly 70 minutes, it's a bit sprawling, but it allows the gang to represent every element that has made them vital and influential to experimental music throughout the last twenty years. Irregardless of your pickiness with Neubauten's material -- what you like/hate about them -- anyone could piece together 40 minutes of the record for an ace Cliff's Notes version. [Early editions came with a second disc, consisting solely of the 19-minute long "Pelikanol." A scraping, hypnotic track, Bargeld uses his voice as a drone instrument to great effect.]
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