Sunday, July 21, 2013


HUBERT KAH-Tensongs (1986)


ORIGINAL POSTING DATE: July 21, 2013

After a night of chilling out on the jazz scene with Juliet Roberts and company, I was looking to continue my flashback through the 80's with a little more thrill. And what could possibly be more thrilling than an album by a German new wave/synthpop act? I've had the trio that calls itself HUBERT KAH on my listening radar for a few days now—still on that mission to broaden my cultural horizons in the world of music—so I ended up seeking out the group's sixth album, "Tensongs". Howard Jones meets DEPECHE MODE—that's the metaphor I'll use in offering a panoramic view of this album's sound. And for those of you listeners out there who got hip to HUBERT KAH many years before I even got acquainted with them: Can you guess which one of these 'ten' songs became my latest addiction? Gotcha this time, because I'm not even sure yet myself! I was just too focused on enjoying the music—happily humming along with the melodies, breathing in the sonic ambiance or patting my feet to the peppy electronic beats—that I didn't even think to acknowledge any single tune that pleased my ears the most or the one that could have me going around in circles with it afterwards. That being said, however, I was instantly attracted to "Drowning"—its warbled, distorted beat and its atmospheric coolness slightly reminding me of DEPECHE MODE's "Halo". Didn't expect to hear any jazz, but as I've learned listening to these hould 80's new wave acts, I should always expect the unexpected. Midway through "Something I Should Know", the suspenseful melody (which makes for a nice touch, as the title indicates secrecy and mysteriousness) suddenly breaks out into a jazz explosion with some snazzy saxophone playing literally coming out of nowhere! Then on "Love Is So Sensible", it's almost as if lightning strikes twice, though instead of the saxophone jazzing it up, it's the screaming riffs of the guitars adding an energetic rush to the music. Got hooked to the peppy and instantly-catchy beat of "Explain The World In A Word", noting the slight funk in the bass line and the warming sunniness of the main chorus. I hear the phrases 'Get funky!' and 'Get down!' quite often when it comes to music that's got some rhythm, but this is the first time I have heard 'Get strange', as sung on the album's seventh track. "Limousine" drove its hooks into me with the soulful backing vocals and the catchy main chorus; plus, the lyrics are kinda fun. And as for the album's final track, it indeed feels like you could go out for a nice long evening drive in a limousine coasting to the breezy melody, which sorta reminds me of the memorable hit by THE CARS: "Drive". So that's "Tensongs" for you in less than ten minutes of reading time, although I'll surely be listening to much more than just 'ten' songs by this German group:

1. Pogo The Clown
2. Lonesome Cowboy
3. Drowning
4. Something I Should Know
5. Explain The World In A Word
6. Love Is So Sensible
7. Get Strange
8. That Girl
9. Limousine
10. Under My Skin

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