“Everyone who hears this is free” – Jens Friebe is not wrong. On his ninth album, the Berliner surfs on philosophical and pop-cultural monster waves: “Only those who have nothing to lose are free / I have that in my ear / I had the record / But I lost it.”

    Don’t worry, the album looks “sane”

    The Wurlitzer wafts through the room in six-four time on “What have we done” to a distant saxophone, while Friebe declaims enigmatically: “What have we done?/ And have you gotten the blood off?/ What have we done?/ Better, you won’t call here again for the time being.” Hopefully nothing bad! But don’t worry, the album seems “sane”.

    Friebe’s beautiful, cold, electronically grating version of Leonard Cohen’s “First We Take Manhattan” honors the power of the original and delicately waves the fence post because Cohen, too, was a brilliant poet and songwriter. Synaesthetes are guaranteed to appreciate the mix of language images and clever sounds and melodies, as will Fun Boy Three fans: Friebe and jack of all trades Chris Imler play with percussion in the song “Das Nichtmehrkannen”; the title is of course an understatement. It’s all very skillful.


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