Teho Teardo and Blixa Bargeld
Still Smiling


4.5
superb

Review

by laughingman22 USER (9 Reviews)
September 6th, 2014 | 12 replies


Release Date: 03/03/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Two artistic geniuses come together to make a revealing, passionate and sophisticated album

The paring of Blixa Bargeld of the legendary industrial group Einst├╝rzende Neubauten and composer Teho Teardo may be unexpected. The two musicians have a trail of high quality releases though in seeming separate spectrums. Yet, the experimental and versatile nature of each artist makes the pairing a match made in heaven; leading to Still Smiling sounding both familiar and strange at the same time.

To the Neubauten fans, Still Smiling may be familiar to the newer, mellower albums the band has been releasing. Still Smiling is focused on vocals, percussion, mild repetition and plays with silence like it is an instrument. However it separates itself with its chamber pop characteristics. The rhythm is done not with drums or any type of percussion instrument. Instead classical stringed instruments take control of the rhythm duties. Because of this, each beat, each note has a slight inflection giving the music a very warm, passionate feeling. Gentle electronics flow through the music, so soft they may be missed on the initial listen, but go to elevate the music to a spine chilling emotional level.

This album has been described as having Blixa Bargeld's most personal lyrics. Bargeld's voice sounds very sincere and impassioned, though he rarely delvers lyrics louder than speaking volume. Tracks like A Quiet Life and the album's title track has Bergeld delivering a tear jerking performances. The lyrics are intricate and spoken in three different languages; English, German and Italian. Though the lyrics are detailed, they feel very humble, like a man traveling through life writing his ideas of heaven, death and the purposes of life. The lyrics do revel personal conflicts, like the final track with an interview sample where it is pointed out that Bargeld's music "softened a lot." This sample as well as many of the lyrical theme deal with trying to escape and deal with one's past.

Still Smiling is an album of opposites; simple yet intricate, poppy yet experimental, emotionally driven yet diligently composed. Teho Tearado and Blixa Bergeld work perfectly together to create an album that revels sensitive conflict in the artists, but is still able to remain dignified and sophisticated. An album recommended for those looking for music that is unique but is still refined and elegant.



Recent reviews by this author
Opiate Birth Subliminal LacerationsEinsturzende Neubauten Haus Der L├╝ge
Irrwisch IrrwischCoil ...And the Ambulance Died in His Arms
Cranes ForeverSkinny Puppy Last Rights
user ratings (8)
Chart.
4.3
superb

Comments:Add a Comment 
laughingman22
September 6th 2014


1911 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

A cool little album that I was way too slow to listen to. Would have been in my top 3 of 2013

Digging: Einsturzende Neubauten - Lament

Judio!
Contributing Reviewer
September 6th 2014


6492 Comments


Excellent review my friend. Never heard of this band before but it definitely sounds interesting, will give
it a shot if I get the chance soon.

"Tracks like A Quiet Life and the album's title tracks has Bergeld delivering a tear jerking performances."

I think you meant to say "title track" and "performance." That's all I noticed though, this is really well-
written.

Digging: The Twilight Sad - Fourteen Autumns and Fifteen Winters

JohnnyOnTheSpot
September 6th 2014


1691 Comments


"For those of you looking for music that is unique, refined and elegant."
Tidy it up a bit so it doesn't read awkwardly.

Good review man, pos

Digging: Snowday - As We Travel

laughingman22
September 6th 2014


1911 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

@judio it is the same vocalist as my last review (remember the horse) but a totally different style of music

Also thanks for the edits

Judio!
Contributing Reviewer
September 6th 2014


6492 Comments


Oh I remember that horse...that image is forever burned into my memory. But that's interesting, still haven't checked that other band out yet but i've been meaning too.

laughingman22
September 6th 2014


1911 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

basically he is a genius that went from making noise tracks by banging pieces of junk metal together to making the classically inspired compositions found here

Graveyard
September 6th 2014


5807 Comments


^ sounds interesting. will check.

Digging: Prurient - Bermuda Drain

laughingman22
September 7th 2014


1911 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

surprised you don't have any Einsturzende Neubauten ratings Graveyard, best band from the early days of industrial

ShitsofRain
September 7th 2014


5948 Comments


would have been best new music but sputnik only knows shit like the national

Graveyard
September 7th 2014


5807 Comments


"surprised you don't have any Einsturzende Neubauten ratings"

I listened to 1/2 Mensch a while back and I remember not liking it that much. I will give them another go for sure though.

laughingman22
September 7th 2014


1911 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

@shitsofrain obv better than national

@graveyard it is a weird album for sure, but its the kind of music I thought you would appreciate

ShitsofRain
September 8th 2014


5948 Comments


tfw no more replies



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