Saturday Flashback: Matthias Reim – Tattoo

“I have to admire the chutzpah of a man in his sixties who’s still rocking the boy-band haircut and denim jacket.”

Tim: Last October Matthias brought out a new album, MR20; why, exactly, he didn’t leave it until this year just for dating’s sake is beyond me, but hey ho. Eiskalt was the fabulously unnerving lead track; here’s the second single, that got released with the album.

Tom: I have to admire the chutzpah of a man in his sixties who’s still rocking the boy-band haircut and denim jacket. Germany continues to be, as far as I know, the only nation where it’s possible to pull that off, ironically or not.

Tim: Well, let’s get the obvious out of the way first and say that it’s no Eiskalt, a song I still listen on a frequent basis; it is, on the other hand, still a pretty good Matthias Reim track, right bang in the middle of the schlager rock groove he’s carved out for himself, and I like it a LOT.

Tom: I can see why: it’s exactly the sort of Europop we like here.

Tim: Now I mention it, in fact, the whole album’s worth a listen if you get a chance; I’d recommend some highlights but that’d imply there are some lowlights, and, no.

Incidentally, there’s a German person I work with, and when I mentioned Matthias to her she was initially surprised he was still going, and then just looked at me with a sense of mild disdain.

Tom: I did wonder what Germans in general think of this: with a million views on YouTube, there’s clearly an audience — but then, there’s an audience for a lot of things that the world in general holds in poor esteem.

Tim: But I don’t care: my name’s Tim and I’m a Reimer. And if there isn’t a word for his fans, I’m having that one.

Matthias Reim – Eiskalt

“It’s really interesting to hear this sort of dramatic, dark effect applied to what is, in the end, still schlager.”

Tom: We’ve talked about Matthias Reim before, Tim, and we seem to settle on the same thing each time: SCHLAGER BANGERS. What’s he got this time?

Tim: Well, throughout my years, Tom, I’ve heard hundreds, probably thousands, of songs that build through the verse and smash into the chorus. And yet, until today I don’t think I’ve ever heard one that could genuinely be described as having a sense of foreboding about it.

Tim: Those opening piano notes, straight out of some sinister ‘hide in the wardrobe, there’s someone creeping around with a knife’ scenarios.

Tom: I’m sure I’ve heard that somewhere before, but all my brain can come up with is Cutting Crew’s Died In Your Arms. It’s really interesting to hear this sort of dramatic, dark effect applied to what is, in the end, still schlager.

Tim: Those beats arrive, upping the tension further. His deep raspy voice with its distinctly serial killer vibe. That heart in the lyric video smashing into pieces. The drums build, he’s approaching the closet, you’re holding your breath, and suddenly WHAM, we break out into a truly fabulous eurodance chorus.

Tom: “Freezing”, in case it wasn’t obvious from context. You’re right though: all electric-guitar, power-chords and heavy percussion. He’s managed it again: BANGER.

Tim: We can breathe, no-one’s trying to murder us, we can have a heck of a time, either throwing our limbs around trying to approximate some sort of rhythm, or just watching that absolutely gorgeous lyric video. Either way, everything is good, and we’ve got our whole lives ahead of us to appreciate it.

Tom: This got more existential than usual. Cracking schlager song, though.

Michelle & Matthias Reim – Nicht verdient

“BANGER. Or, if we’re being honest, BANGER AND A HALF.”

Tim: Advance notice for our reader: tomorrow’s flashback is a PROPER TUNE and I was having trouble finding anything from the standard Scandinavian area that didn’t sound complete bobbins in comparison. So, I turned to Germany, and, well:

Tom: Ha! That is the most schlagery first verse I’ve heard in a while. Possibly since the last time we talked about Matthias Reim. And happily, the first verse led exactly where I expected.

Tim: BANGER. Or, if we’re being honest, BANGER AND A HALF, from two people who, despite the ambiguous crediting, aren’t actually siblings.

Tom: I know it’d be terrible if all songs were like this, Tim, but sometimes I can’t help feeling that pop music peaked with this genre.

Tim: It is a fantastic genre, isn’t it? Lyrics are basically that he/she doesn’t deserve you, so get with me because I totally do deserve you. I don’t *think* they’re singing at each other, because with that enthusiasm you’d think they’d hear each other, bin off their currents and mash their faces together.

Tom: Perhaps that growled “Baby komm zurück!” that leads out of the middle eight put her off a bit. Honestly, that nearly gets into Bloke From Aqua territory.

Tim: René, and I suppose that’s a possibility. Maybe they’re both singing at the same person, who’s simultaneously with two other people, with them trying to break up one threesome to form another? Or, and here’s a crazy thought, maybe some lyrics don’t really work as duets. Of course, all that only matters if you try to put way too much effort into analysing them, and who on Earth would possibly do that? Nope, let’s DANCE and DANCE and DANCE AGAIN. Because that, I think, is really the true message of this song.

Matthias Reim – Himmel voller Geigen

“When we started a blog called Europlop, Tim, THIS is exactly what I wanted us to cover.”

Tim: Matthias, known largely in Germany for his 1990 hit “Verdammt, ich lieb’ dich” and more recently his 2013 track “Unendlich“. He’s had many other tracks, before and since, though, and here’s his latest, which translates as “Sky Full of Violins”.

Tom: I just listened to the 1990 hit there, and I am ON BOARD with this. That is PROPER 90s German dancepop, and I want to see how that style translates into this century.

Tom: I actually said “oh yes” out loud on those opening notes. The chorus did EXACTLY what I want it to. When we started a blog called Europlop, Tim, THIS is exactly what I wanted us to cover.

Tim: Chorus: “Just because of you, my sky is full of violins, and they play my favourite song every day; just because you’re here I can live my life again, it’s just great that you’re here.” Isn’t that nice? I say nice, it’s actually a bit of a sad song: it’s sung about his new housemate he’s got a massive thing for (hur) but just can’t bring himself to speak to, in case she laughs in his face.

Tom: Agh, well it can’t be perfect. (And, musically, the post-chorus is the one thing here that really doesn’t work for me, but I can live with it.)

Tim: The feelings are nice, though, so GO ON, MATTHIAS. If you don’t ask, you’ll never get.

Additional: top marks to whoever made the lyric video for advertising his album during the instrumental – now I’ve seen it, I’m actually surprised I’ve never seen it before.