Kraftwerk - The Man-Machine - Review
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critics' view

Released in May ’78, the seventh Kraftwerk LP was the group’s poppiest offering to date, yet still retained an allure for the “alternative” camp, thanks in no small part to the vaguely sinister undertone which always seems to bristle beneath the glossy veneer. Opening the set is the lead-single, “Die Roboter” (“The Robots”), which sets the disconnected pop-tone nicely. The futuristic “Spacelab” sounds like something from a 100 years hence, especially with the non-human sounding processed vocals. “Metropolis”, the first to be sung “human style”, completes the entirely danceable side one.

Opening side two is “Das Modell” (“The Model”), which is broken up with the unexpected shout out of “Korrekt”, which comes from the voice of a waiter from a bar they used to go to whilst recording the album. It’s a rare human moment from the machine men. Plastic and soul-less, “Das Modell” sounds like a future to be feared, but the futurists of ’78 are all ears anyway. “Neonlicht” (“Neon Lights”) is an exquisite nine-minute stretch-out which reminds just why this group are so irresistible at this time; the melodies are glorious throughout, and the whole concept is very easy on the ear, an endloss luxury. Fantastic rhythms underpin the classic title-track, another sung robotically, which closes the set on a high.

The whole album has been nothing short of excellent throughout. Maybe machine men with machine minds aren’t so bad after all…

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