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Silence Is Sexy

4.6 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

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Audio CD, June 20, 2000
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Editorial Reviews

Einstürzende Neubauten have long made a career of taking a wrecking ball to the staid towers of musical convention. Their seminal industrial excess having become a musical institution in Germany--aligning them somewhat to the left of Kraftwerk and Can--they turn the wrecking ball on themselves on Silence Is Sexy. Employing aural texture, murmurs, hushed vocals, and, yes, silence, instead of the Sturm und Drang of collapsing buildings, monstrous machinery, and industrial decay, Silence defies all preconceived notions of what an Einstürzende Neubauten album should sound like. The title track manages to imbue long patches of complete silence with a backbeat and groove, proving their titular claim. Blixa Bargeld--perhaps having learned a thing or two about terrible beauty from his work with Nick Cave--imbues his deep-toned vocals with warmth and emotion, and while at moments the music can careen out of control, for the most part it wavers on the lower fringes of the sonic spectrum. Now that the sonic ceiling has been shattered, perhaps EN want to prove the complexity of silence. Ah, but not for long! Accompanying Silence Is Sexy is a second disc featuring the single, seemingly unending composition "Pelikonal," an improvised duet between a repeated vocal phrase and a drill--not much more pleasant than getting root canal. Yikes. --Tod Nelson

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Sabrina
  2. Silence Is Sexy
  3. In Circles
  4. Newtons Gravitatlichkeit
  5. Zampano
  6. Heaven Is Of Honey
  7. Beauty
  8. Die Befindlichkeit Des Landes
  9. Sonnenbarke
  10. Musentango
  11. Alles
  12. Redukt
  13. Dingsaller
  14. Total Eclipse Of The Sun

Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 20, 2000)
  • Original Release Date: 2000
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Mute U.S.
  • ASIN: B00004TM12
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #308,555 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Eduardo Alba Echandi on May 25, 2000
Format: Audio CD
This album has kept me going late to sleep and waking early in the morning just to listen to it before I go to work. It took me a few listens because it doesn't quiet sound like you regular E.N. album. It is more skeletal and has a stark and naked beauty yet it is more elaborate. It kicks off with "Sabrina", a piece driven by a simple, almost isolated bass line, very low, very slow, just teasing as Blixa sings about black which in this context could be interpreted as silence or as the tabula rassa on which he creates his music. It took me a few listens to get it because it sounded a little too simple at first, now I can only say that is as simple as lover whispering your ear, that glorious, that delicate. Sexy indeed. The tittle track, works in a similar way, Blixa mumbles the phrase "silence is sexy" over a bass line, then abruptly stops, he lights a cigarette, takes a drag and takes a long pause in which you could hear the inside of his mouth (don't know about you, but it raised my hair)just building tension until a percussion (you know it is not necessarily drums when it comes to EN) takes silence by surprise. The song starts again until the ever wild Mexico City crowd put an end to it. Very strange indeed!. From then on, a hundred ideas evolve until your mind goes spinning. Every song has a climax but you never notice how it happened, suddenly you just can not feel the ground behind your feet. "In circles" is a beautiful vision of the unique universe of molecules and it apparently chaotic order, it is followed by Bilxa ranting about gravity because it stops him from flying in "Newton's Gravitatlichkeit" . Could you even imagine for a second a world in which these songs were actually .... popular?.Read more ›
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Format: Audio CD
According to the band's lead singer and writer, Blixa Bargeld, their previous work, Ende Neu, summarized the demise of the great experimental lab and playground - the "island of Berlin". Now it is time to go on and rebuild on top of the cultural void left after the loss of West Berlin's political independence.
In the past two decades the never ending quest of Einsturzende Neubauten to question and destroy all that had to do with and emanated from the popular culture left a very noticeable mark in the institution. Uncompromising and ever inventive, EN turned every concept associated with popular music and art upside down and inside out. Furthermore, the resulting flesh was sometimes shredded into pieces and reassembled back together the way only the band could imagine.
The progressive elimination of every layer of cultural conformity, the process of stripping life naked of lies and concessions made by the self-indulgent mass media, brought the band to the realization of the fact that behind all this a much more important thing is present. The metaphysical nature of what is behind cannot be described directly in words or music. It is that which we can only describe as the transcendental Beauty. And now that all layers have been peeled, it is time to attempt the impossible: describe the underlying essence.
"Silence Is Sexy" tries to do just that. Every song offers a new approach to grasping the essence of the quality that we call beauty. Beauty is represented by colors (SABRINA.
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Format: Audio CD
There seems to be one agreement among all reviewers about Silence is Sexy: it's not like earlier Neubauten. The same goes for "Tabula Rasa", another terriffic album from the band. But some people are displeased with those albums and all of the ones in between because they're, "Industrial" enough, they're not angsty enough, and they're too tame. "MAN, break out that pneumatic drill and give me some more eardrum-rupturing caucophony I can sterilize small animals with!" I disagree with that sentiment. Of course, I am in no way ripping on EN's earlier material; it was their brilliant, searing, metal and found sound percussion along with the screeching and squealing of power tools and Blixa Bargeld's banshee yell (anything on "Kollaps", or "Seele Brennt" from "Halber Mensch", for example) that defined them as unique, pioneering artists in the European avant-garde of the 70's and 80's. But Neubauten had no reason to stop there. Evolution in sound and overall feeling/atmosphere the music creates is one of the trademarks of a band who's daring enough to explore new areas of their art. After all, Neubauten is all about beginnings and endings! Einstuerzende Neubauten's music matured as they did, and they did it beautifully.
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Format: Audio CD
My interest in Einsturzende Neubauten was intially stirred inthe mid-80s, and what I've always enjoyed best about this band (evenmore than the cool power tools) is their ability to jump from some of the quietest, sparsest whispers to the loudest, most quarrelsome sounds known to man in the blink of an eye (remember "Seele brennt" and "Armenia?"). As recently as last year, after catching them at a local venue, I was impressed with this band's ability to still pull off the old "restraint vs. angst" sound, not unlike the style they first deployed on classics like "Five Off the Open-Ended Richter Scale." What is lacking on "Silence is Sexy" is the raw, hard "angst" side of this pivotal balance. Almost everything is sparse here, and the simple rhythms often sound like techo-sampled beats, despite EN's policy of using the acoustic sound of their "instuments" rather then modern samplers and sequencers. Restraint is obvious everywhere, with only a few tracks breaking loose of such well-intended but misguided over-production. That being stated, the few tracks of note here are exceptional, and mercifully LENGTHY. There is a certain understated fury in the hypnotic refrain of "Sonnenbarke" that is particularly effective, and a few flashes of that furious chaos of old on tracks like "Alles." "Redukt," which I first heard at the previously mentioned local gig, was the reason I bought this CD. It does not fail to deliver on the studio version, though singer Bargeld does little of the wheezing and bellowing he did when I first heard this band almost 20 years ago.Read more ›
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