Unendlich means "infinite", "infinitely" or "infinity", "endless", "endlessly" or "unending". It's one of those very straightforward German words that is undoubtedly rooted in Latin. It is the name of Matthias Reim's new album. I wish that I knew how to take this album. My German fails me in this regard.
The album was released on the 25th of January.... I think that I have mentioned that. He gave a release concert in Berlin on the 23rd. It was wonderful. I didn't understand much of the conversation that he had with the audience. But I did understand the body language and facial expressions when he sang "wir sind Unendlich". It sounded like a "goodbye I'll always love you" song. Many of the songs on the album are sad. They aren't depressing, they are introspective. And there is a kind of emotion in the music that is hard to define. Perhaps I can not define it because I do not want to believe what my intuition tells me. Perhaps I can not define it because it comes from a very German part of the heart and soul that I am out of touch with. I am German. But I was raised here in the States where we miss a lot of things in the pursuit of money and maintaining World Power Status. And I think that it is there that true meaning in the lyrics for these songs lies. There were many tears in the audience.
It was as if a switch had flipped. We went from a high energy power rock vibe to" huddled under a blankie" sentimentality. With one song he stripped the German stoicism from the audience and laid everything bare. I hope that this is not his retirement album. It does seem to feel that way though it is too soon to tell because I haven't done the translation work that I want to. My best hope is that since nothing on the website indicates it is the last album that Matze will go on.
He has to go on. Unendlich introduces us to a genre of music that many politely ignore otherwise. He is a fan of Öst Rock. In the States we unforgivingly call it Commie Rock. Not because it espouses the values of said political mindset, we call it that because it comes from some place east of Democracy. Öst Rock is the folk music of a people cut off from its home by outside government forces without regard to the whole cloth of the German culture. It retains the use of traditional instruments but uses them in ways more consistent with the Hungarian classical composers and nomadic gypsies to add layers of depth to the hard rock elements. Öst Rock, more so than the West German rock bands, shares elements with American steel town/East Coast industrial groups like Bon Jovi and Aerosmith. And in Europe, because Berlin and East Germany were for so long held back by an iron curtain, it is an under appreciated art form.
Als ich Fortging belongs to a band called Karrussel. Karrussel is an Öst rock band. It first appeared on a Reim album in 2007, Unverwundbar. It is beautiful, brings me to tears every time. And since it was so well received, I believe that is why he chose to explore this genre on this album. He covers 5 or 6 songs from various groups on Unendlich. And they are wonderful. Beautifully haunting.... especially Am Fenster. And I think that he has made me a fan of Öst Rock. And amazingly, I might actually sit down and purposefully listen to Bon Jovi.... who knew?
My only complaint so far is that the new stuff is not on Spotify so that I can share it with you guys and the concert version of Ganz Egal is not on the album. That is one of my favorite songs ever (I know it by heart and what it means). But the new version is my favorite of all of them. I feel a lot younger listening to that song than when I listen to the original ballad version.
Best Album ever! And, as I predicted, it hit the number one spot within 2 weeks knocking Andrea Berg from her throne. Way to go Matze!