THE SNOOPY LADS FIRST ALBUM "A RUBY IN BLUE" IS REALLY SOMETHING SPECIAL


The album by The Snoopy Lads begins with the verse:

“A dash of tears on my shirt
This transitory souvenir
What’s a tear but a tear
Once it’s hitting the dirt”


It smooths out into a coyish shy-like piano-driven electropop song which is odd since the album by the German duo is nothing but polemic and epic. The song in question is called "A Ruby In Blue" and it’s a timid start for an album that, for me, is an example of how great pop music can be when the boundaries of music writing are pushed to the limit. A Ruby In Blue is a bare, cautious and extremely bashful title track. Indeed its demo-like. Its only when the second track begins “Can't You See (Whats Going On)” that the beats start to tipple over the wine glass of electrodisco finery.

“Can't You See (Whats Going On)” is a mixture of Stuart Price’s glorious baselines previously heard on Madonna’s Confessions On A Dancefloor and Kylie Minogue’s Fever album. The song is molds together dance music and brilliant piano rifts in perfect unity. Its quality is staggeringly good.


By track three, “Illusions” I realise that The Snoopy Lads are doing something very different. Herein, the band evoke the works of Michael Nyman and the early dance pioneers Giorgio Moroder into an amazing piece of work. The word amazing is often lauded but within “Illusions” you do feel your entering into something special. I recall that fragile yet grand brilliance of Annie Lennox’s first album Diva and “Illusions” sounds like something she could be doing now if the stars were aligned in the right order. One begins to really taste the voice of The Snoopy Lads. It is evocative work with excellent production backed-up with stunning vocals by one Hendryk Ekdahl. He is up there with Alison Moyet, Ute Lemper and Marc Almond. Many have often pined for a beautiful voice that blends well with a dance beat and its right there in the vocal chords of Ekdahl. He recalls Yazoo at their finest.

Hendryk is given ample space to grace his voice amongst a glorious wall of sound provided by Basty von Noeten. His arrangements of electronic beats and classical strings bring “Illusions” to a whirlwind of beauty and ferocious fierceness. Herein they dare to involve the whispers of Tchaikovsky Concerto no.1 (1st Movement) with brilliant results. The same tempest is wrought out in “Listen To The Silence”. It begins with the lyrics:

“On a funeral would you laugh out loud
To a church would you go and fuck”

All of which is enriched an enchanting hybrid sound of strings, piano and electro-lite music. One gets the feeling that this is music beyond the confines of genres. It bends such categories and even attempts to study the kind of music more akin to that of a soundtrack for some thriller movie.

On the track “Coward”, The Snoopy Lads go all Girls Aloud/"Love Machine" but of course with their own twist and the chorus of “Come on and let your pants d’ down. You’re such a coward!” is irresistible. After the slice of pop that is “Coward”, comes to the sober “Little Drummer Boy” where in which the listener truly begins to hear the stunning quality of Hendryks beautiful voice. Both Adele and Alison Moyet are firmly put in their place. This boy sings like an angel. But there is something dark in his position. I love this danger.


Rachmaninov collides with the shrapnel and remnants of Human Leagues epic Dare, Non Stop Erotic Cabaret by Soft Cell, Ute Lemper’s 1992 release Illusions and Pet Shop Boys' Very. The Snoopy Lads and unite these influences without ever losing their way in the midst of such musical greatness. Instead, they keep their cool and secure a sound of their own out of the hegemony and multitude of sounds and albums they’ve referenced.


“Delayed Departure” leaves me speechless. Epic in beauty yet shy in delivery. While very much electronic in production its brilliance is due to a piano rift that ensures a softness and organic portrait of the song. And this is what is so good about this album. Yes it is electronic. Yes it pop. But is also organic, smooth and surprisingly warm. The singing wraps around the flesh and the light beats provides the pillow just to ensure complete security.

The album finishes off with the fairy-tale like “Waltz on a 4-4 Time Beat”. Hendryk declares that “our moment has come so lets dance” and one feels like I am are in the middle of a fine date with a gentlemen who has just asked to waltz there in the middle of the room. It’s a Hollywood moment here. The stars above fall in place and already your held by your loved on who leads you into the sunset that reads “ and they lived happily ever after”.


Yeah, this album is amazing. The Snoopy Lads are doing something very special within the ball that is pop music. It recalls The Beloved, early house music of the 1990s, Kraftwerk, ABC, Soft Cell, Ute Lemper, Pet Shop Boys, and Yazoo. There are even stunning traces of classical music in there too. They’ve enshrined out a sound that makes them clearly in a league of their own. I’m not aware of another band like The Snoopy Lads & I strongly recommend you check them out.

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Official The Snoopy Lads Myspace
Buy the album here
Pictures by www.myspace.com/cassati
Additional pictures by www.anton-milagros.de

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5 comments:

RV said...

I don't know if it was the review or the photos :) but I've decided to take a closer look and a few more listen to this german duo and I think I'm soon gonna buy it when my emusic download points will renew cos the snippets are amazing!
Thanks (like always) for showing us new musical roads to explore XXX

Lance said...

Amazing! Cloetta Paris too!

RV said...

I couldn't wait and bought the album ...and
couldn't resist but post some words about them on my blog too!
I naturally linked your own post for people to follow ;)
http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=154447635&blogID=431636379&Mytoken=1A741EAB-3ECE-4CCD-83796ECFBAEF73DC51502833

luckylittlebro said...

This album has been on non stop repeat since I downloaded it a couple of weeks ago. They really deserve to be successful. I hope people start catching on!

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