Klee Honeysuckle

It is always hard for international bands to break through outside their home country unless they are willing to sing in English. That doesn’t stop some from trying and the latest to test North American waters are Germany’s Klee. Originally released last year as Jelängerjelieber, Klee’s North American debut now goes as by the English moniker of Honeysuckle and features a handful of translated songs — although the majority are still performed in their native German despite being listed with English titles. Not surprisingly, the strongest songs are the ones translated for this new version of the album. Those three appear in both languages, and stand head and shoulders above most of the other songs. From the driving New Order-esque beat on "Gold” to the stately, sweeping pop of "A Thousand Ways,” for a few minutes it seems like Klee are completely invincible and utterly essential. However, their main problem is that the music is very nice, but it really isn’t anything that hasn’t been heard before. Plus there’s "Our Movie,” which starts off with the bass line from the Cure’s "In Between Days” before settling for whole-heartedly plagiarising "Just like Heaven” instead to a level that has to be heard to be believed. It’s completely shameless and a little unsettling, but at least they’ve got the sense to rip off a good song, I suppose. When Honeysuckle is good, it is very good and despite recycling a few too many ideas, it is still one of the year’s most enjoyable pop albums and something which will really appeal to fans of Air, Ivy and their ilk. (Minty Fresh)