Die Suche geht weiter [International Online Version]

by: Rosenstolz

Rosenstolz settled into a steady pattern after the turn of the century, releasing commercial blockbuster albums laden with hit singles and then embarking on concert tours that were documented on a series of CD/DVDs released between albums. Die Suche Geht Weiter, their 11th studio album to date, is another commercial blockbuster laden with hit singles, and in that sense, it's an unremarkable entry in the duo's catalog, a fittingly predictable follow-up to the prior album, Das Große Leben (2006), and its predecessors. On the other hand, Die Suche Geht Weiter is indeed remarkable in the sense that it's such a well-crafted, all-around excellent effort. So was Das Große Leben, of course, yet it remains remarkable that Rosenstolz continue to demonstrate such craftsmanship and excellence this far into their career, even as they release another blockbuster album and embark on another concert tour every two years with little respite. In some ways, such reliability has become Rosenstolz's calling card, for better and for worse. Their reliability is an asset because their popularity continues to grow with each album release; for instance, the lead single from Das Große Leben, "Ich Bin Ich (Wir Sind Wir)," reached number two on the German singles chart (the duo's highest-charting single to date) while the lead single from Die Suche Geht Weiter, "Gib Mir Sonne," went all the way to number one. Yet their reliability is also a liability because the element of surprise that characterized the duo's early output in the 1990s is all but gone. The shades of cabaret and edgy techno-pop style of early singles like "Nur Einmal Noch" (1994) and "Sex im Hotel" (1996) can still be heard in Rosenstolz's live shows but not on their latter-day albums. "Ich Bin Mein Haus," the album-opener of Die Suche Geht Weiter and also one of its singles, is a world apart from the duo's early output. The techno beats have given way to piano, strings, and subtle drum programming, and all of the songs that follow are cut from the same cloth. Hence the dismay of some longtime fans who complain that Rosenstolz drifted from the edge to the middle of the road, making music for the masses rather than for a select niche. These complaints aside, there are few German pop acts that can rival Rosenstolz at this point. Not only have singer AnNa R. and songwriter/keyboardist Peter Plate maintained a remarkably steady pattern of excellence with their output over the years, they've done so without forsaking any of their artistry. The lyrics remain both literary and ambiguous, if increasingly mature as the bandmembers enter their forties, while the music remains both melodic and rhythmic, if increasingly stately as piano and strings often overtake the beats and guitars.

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