April 07, 2022

Freiheit - Fantasy (1988)

Country: Germany
Language: English
Genre: Pop, Pop Rock
Label Number: CBS 462482 2

© 1988 CBS Records
This album represents the sole ill-fated attempt at international success by the German technopop phenomenon Freiheit (the name means "freedom"). It was released in both English (Fantasy) and German (Fantasie) editions. The reason for their failure to make waves overseas isn't entirely clear, although it's easy to speculate that new-wave Europop was old hat by 1988. Nevertheless, this was first-rate new-wave Europop. The rich, sweeping synthesizer and guitar arrangements are mated with hummable hooks and gorgeous harmonies rendered in Stefan Zauner's electronically enhanced waif-like vocals. The Beatlesque single version of "Keeping the Dream Alive" that opens the record (as heard in the John Cusack film Say Anything) features a spot-on orchestral arrangement performed by the London Symphony Orchestra and recorded -- where else? -- in London's Abbey Road Studios. It should have been a bigger hit than it was. "Kissed You in the Rain" and "Tears are a Girl's Best Friend" are similarly sweeping power-pop songs, painted in broad and generous strokes. Actually, the relentlessly panoramic scope of Armand Volker's production grows a little burdensome by the end of the album. But he does achieve some measure of balance in quieter tunes like "Diana" and "Moonlight." And it's well worth putting up with the album's frothy excesses in order to experience Freiheit's fine pop craftmanship.

tags: freiheit, fantaasy, 1988, flac,

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