Wednesday, September 3, 2014

SWIMMING THE NILE-Swimming The Nile (1991)

ORIGINAL POSTING DATE: September 3, 2014

That's gotta be quite a daunting task, maneuvering yourself through more than 4,000 miles of the world's longest waterway, let alone even trying to navigate them by conventional boat. Fortunately for me, it wasn't nearly as daunting discovering this German band and finding a peaceful moment to tune in to their self-titled debut album. SWIMMING THE NILE continues my voyage through the largely uncharted waters of post-80's new wave rock by international artists. Well, at least some of these tunes do possess that new wave, punkish sorta style in their production, namely my favorite track called "Unsaid", whose sound I quickly latched on to the moment it started playing. And then there's the additional vocal factor—the band's lead singer, who has this charming way of engaging the listener into the music, much like any number of those artists from that nostalgic New Romantic era: HUMAN LEAGUE, ABC, SPANDAU BALLET, DURAN DURAN, ULTRAVOX..... Boy, don't they bring back some music memories! In fact, I'd started to say at the outset that the lead singer reminds me of HUMAN LEAGUE's Philip Oakey. Any way I look at it, I consider this to be a childhood reunion of sorts. Yet outside of "Unsaid" and the album's other other energetic rock cuts—like "What Does It Take?", "F.O.U. (New Religion)" and the opener, "Carry On!", my observation is that the new wave sound is more polished and mainstream. "The Monkey In Me" is a fine example of that. While there is the rock element included in the production, I also cited the funky rhythm and the groovy bounce. It's a really cool song, actually, with a ton of energy, with me especially enjoying this line that serves as the song's primary hook: 'hey, hey-hey, hey, the monkey in me is gonna make me free'. A couple of dazzling moments that sneak up on you: Track #4's break-up song simply entitled "Over", which starts off innocently enough with a warming acoustic guitar sound before emerging into a power ballad of sorts (it certainly grows on you the longer you listen) and the concluding piece, "We Are Young", which starts off nearly identical to "Over" with more guitar acoustics before the main rhythm splashes in a few moments into the song:

1. Carry On!
2. Change
3. Unsaid
4. Over
5. The Monkey In Me
6. Blue And White
7. What Does It Take?
8. F.O.U. (New Religion)
9. With You
10. Own Way
11. We Are Young

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