T (Thomas Thielen) is a German multi-instrumentalist, singer, producer and control freak. Formerly he fronted the German art-rock band Scythe and he recorded three highly acclaimed solo albums, namely Naive (2002), Voices (2006) and Anti-Matter Poetry (2010). It took him two years to write, perform, produce and co-master his latest solo album Psychoanorexia. As always T played all the instruments and he performed all the vocal parts!
This is the time when ringtone applicability equals musical quality. This is the place where the greed of being a popstar has replaced the sublime experience of creativity. This is the era in which democracy means mass phenomena, not choices; an era in which we have become too lazy even for subterfuges and too busy to feel the loss. This is the age when equality means mediocrity, fame defames excellence and education encourages despondency. We excel in conformity, we celebrate our empty hands. We may not burn books, but we skim them. We may not slaughter heretics, but we over shout them. We strive, long, hunger for nothing, thus nobody strives, longs, hungers; fascistic, yet aimless aposiopetic selves, timetabled freedom. Death in Bologna. Psychoanorexia.'
After reading these sentences I became rather sceptical, since most of the time pretentious statements are difficult to transfer into refined lyrics, certainly when one isn't a native speaker. Name three German acts that pulled off to do so in the past and I buy you a beer! But I have to admit that my scepticism was misplaced! There are so many ideas taking place, so many styles being mixed and yet so much unity and flow to the music that it's incredible to believe that only one man did this. T has a stunning voice − I first thought he hired Steve Hogarth (Marillion) − and he sings intelligible and almost without a German accent. All instruments sound fine and the mix and mastering gave it a 'togetherness' that this kind of homemade productions usually miss. Well done!
However, I've got some minor remarks as well. Some tracks on Psychoanorexia last too long and as a consequence they lose their power and tension, and sometimes the lyrics tend toward empty rhetoric. Yet for prog rockers who like (dreamy) progrock in the vein of Marillion, Pink Floyd, Genesis or Steven Wilson, this album is a must have!
**** Gert Bruins (edited by Peter Willemsen)
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