The Notwist Neon Golden

Neon Golden is so beautiful, so perfect from top to bottom, that all I keep coming up with are paradoxes. Detailed simplicity, complex minimalism, lavish restraint. The Notwist have hoarded a mass of gorgeous sounds, some they use for an entire song, others for fractions of seconds, but never in the wrong way. Dipping strings, chunky snares ("Consequence"), organs, blips and beeps, a bass line lifted straight from a Pac-Man level advance ("Solitaire"), just about anything that could possibly be used in a song. The magic, in their case, is exactly how they use them. Each song features heaps of faint, bubbling effects at one point or another, but before they overpower the last, they're cut or replaced by a new sound that's equally as foreign, but even more fitting. With all of the unique noise scattered throughout the album, the most effective sonic feature of the band is, oddly, Marcus Acher's feathery chirp. Sounding like a schoolboy on the verge of tears, he brings a warm, human element to Martin Gretschmann’s (aka Console) deft, yet at times, frigid electro-touch. The Notwist seem to understand that it’s the details that make an album last, and this one gets better with every listen. (Domino)