Für Dich Immer Noch Fanta Sie

by: Die Fantastischen Vier

Germany's foremost veteran rap group, die Fantastischen Vier, continue to age gracefully on Für Dich Immer Noch Fanta Sie, their eighth studio album in their two-decade career. While it falls well short of their best albums and breaks little new ground, it's nonetheless an impressive effort on which Thomas D, Smudo, Michi Beck, and And.Ypsilon experiment with plenty of different stylistic approaches without departing too far from what their fans have come to expect from them over the years. In their second decade, die Fantastischen Vier have proven themselves reliable. Since their early- to mid-'90s breakout period, when they released four albums in five years -- Jetzt Geht's Ab (1991), 4 Gewinnt (1992), Die 4. Dimension (1993), and Lauschgift (1995) -- and reigned as Germany's preeminent rap group, they've taken their time with the successive studio efforts 4:99 (1999), Viel (2004), and Fornika (2007). Concert tours and live albums helped satiate fans during the three- to five-year spans between studio efforts, but what kept the Fantastischen Vier fan base intact more than anything was the dependability of the group's studio efforts, which were fairly unique from one another yet generally in line with fan expectations. This reliability has long endeared die Fantastischen Vier to fans content with more of the same -- hence the group's chart-topping consistency, with their past four straight studio albums reaching either number one or two on the German charts -- yet it also happens to frustrate those who would like to see the quartet adopt a more progressive style. Endowed with the group's characteristic creativity and amiability, Für Dich Immer Noch Fanta Sie isn't likely to change anyone's opinion of die Fantastischen Vier, who are as accessible as ever. The lead single "Gebt Uns Ruhig die Schuld (Den Rest Könnt Ihr Behalten)" is a tailor-made hit, demonstrating once again the group's knack for pop crossovers. Other highlights include the three-song run "Garnichsotoll," "Smudo In Zukunft," and "Danke," which respectively find die Fantastischen Vier at their most anthemic, humorous, and thoughtful. ~ Jason Birchmeier

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