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Kraftwerk - Computer World [Aka: Computerwelt] CD (album) cover




Progressive Electronic

3.83 | 230 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
3 stars I program my home computer, beam myself into the past

Computer World was released the same year that I was born. My mother owned this album on vinyl LP and I used to love it when I was a child and often requested her to play it in the house. My younger sister and her husband are both big Kraftwerk fans and their albums are often played at our frequent family gatherings! Their three year old son is obsessed with trains and loves to watch Trans-Europe Express on the Minimum Maximum DVD. Sorry for this autobiographical detour.

I actually still enjoy this album to the present day (even if not in the same way that I like most other music I like) and not purely for reasons of nostalgia. The progressive compositions like Autobahn and Trans-Europe Express were a thing of the past at this point and so were the mindless noise experiments of Radio-Activity. This is rather catchy electronic Pop music, but more elaborated than The Model. The sound consists to 100 % of electronic blips and beeps and the only "human" element are the vocals (many of which are processed though some device to sound "robotic"). This creates a quite mechanical and sound (which is probably exactly what they were aiming for here). The only thing that keeps it from sounding too cold and sterile is the melodies. And the humour!

Like those previous Kraftwerk albums, this one too is conceptual and the concept is not hard to figure out; it's about computers. No less than five of the seven tracks have 'computer' and 'compute' in their titles. It is very hard for me to take this music seriously, but it is fun and enjoyable. Kraftwerk had a sense of humour that most of their followers like Depeche Mode completely lacked. Lyrics like "It's more fun to compute" and "I'm the operator with my pocket calculator" are simply hilarious. Computer Love is very interesting as it describes a future that is a reality today, in an age when many people employ dating websites to meet people. They sing "I call this number for a data date"! It is hard not to giggle at such crude lyrics but it is equally hard not to be impressed by the group's ability to see into the future. We do indeed live in a "computer world" today, and Kraftwerk seems to have predicted that some 29 years ago!

Overall, this is a rather pleasant and entertaining album even if it holds much less interest for fans of progressive music as compared to albums like Autobahn and Trans-Europe Express.

SouthSideoftheSky | 3/5 |


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