Album Review by EDF
I never thought this was ever going to happen, a new Kraftwerk. But wait, not only is the whole album based on a 20 year old hit, it re-invents the themes of the original track. Okay, if that grabs your imagination, then you just, at times, might enjoy this bicycle trip.
After a short PROLOGUE we swiftly move along to the next four tracks TOUR DE FRANCE ETAPE 1, 2 and 3 and CHRONO which act as one musical suite. When I say swiftly, the trance lite hook tries to evoke images of what it might be like for the cyclists taking part in the yearly competition. Then, we can actually feel the adrenalin rush as we move ahead of the pack, moving up a gear in the process.
VITAMIN sounds as if we are now going up a mountain but don’t worry, this track sounds more like what a 21 st century Kraftwerk should sound like. The same can be said about the rest of the album, which is exactly what the fans are expecting from this bunch. Tagged on the end is an extended mix of the original version of TOUR DE FRANCE, probably for those who have forgotten what it sounded like.
While it’s great to have new product from Kraftwerk, maybe they should have expanded their horizon a little and recorded a concept album for some other time. Due to its artistic limits the album doesn’t really get going until half way through, that’s if their minimalist approach hasn’t put off some people. The first half does not really suit the fast pace of modern life but it’s only with what you experience from the second half of the album that you start believing that Kraftwerk have not totally lost the plot.