Post-pandemic rapture results in a blast from the past to bring on nostalgic pleasures on a new band’s debut.
Hiding behind the noms de plume of Norbert and Johann Helmut, this album’s creators may simply pretend to be siblings – or be genuine blues brothers before going for “Crash Course” – but the music they produce is palpably real in making the listener’s feet tap on the dancefloor and move to its deliciously varied groove. The Helmuts call it “Schlager” because this sort of Eurodisco smells of Deutsche abandon on the album whose handclaps-propelled opener “Living Without You” will set one’s pulse racing and won’t let go until the warm synthetic notes of the soulful finale “Love Land” dissolve in silence. With guitar riffs and ivories-encrusted hooks in abundance, here’s top-notch pop to enjoy and join in the catchy choruses.
From bombastic, albeit acoustically tinctured, jive of “My Foundation” and patinated mirrorball drive of “Someday Girl” to the glacial glide of the gripping melody in “So Special” and the pure-’80s vocal harmonies of “All Out Love” and further on, to the tremulous balladry of “Someone In Your Eyes” with its pseudo-accordion passages and tasty six-string twang, and the super-tight “Another Place” with its Latino tinge, there’s hardly a minute to pause for reflection. Intense electric charge powering up “I Win Again” to a great effervescent effect also sees the scintillating “Every Beat Of My Heart” anchored by organ, while the reggae-smeared “When She Smiles” takes everyone on another retrofuturistic ride, and this is exactly the trip our after-pandemic world may need to survive.