Perpetuum Mobile album cover
Perpetuum Mobile

Einstürzende Neubauten

2004
Mute

If 2000’s Silence Is Sexy felt slightly tentative, at times, there are no such concerns with its follow-up, Perpetuum Mobile. The art song that Neubauten had always hinted at in their music is given free rein here, resulting in an album haunted by the spirit of lieder. Blixa Bargeld’s ongoing love affair with Krautrock, the music of his youth, plays out in the motoric thud of the title track; it’s fascinating hearing Bargeld’s trademark squeal, like air escaping a blocked vent, nestling within these more poised musical structures. “Dead Friends (Around the Corner)” and “Youme & Meyou” are some of Neubauten’s loveliest songs yet, proof that they really were a pop band all along, as Bargeld had claimed over the years. They’re not wallowing in beauty here, but they’re certainly embracing the possibilities beauty offers – its expressive force is a creative counterweight to the destructive character of yore.

Jon Dale

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