Words by Justine McNamara.
Moderat have kept their fans waiting almost four years for a follow up album to 2009’s self-titled debut. The German act is back and they’ve named their second album II – full points for imagination there, you guys. So, was it worth the wait?
If you’ve already heard the first single ‘Bad Kingdom,’ you’d definitely answer “yes.” As the first “real” track on the album after intro ‘The Mark,’ it grabs your attention – both with the funky bass line and the mix of instruments. The vocals are deep and smooth and work with the rest of the sounds perfectly. The album manages to hold your attention until the very end; it draws you in with fun beats, deep vocals and interesting melodies.
‘Milk’ starts off with a driving beat and continues to build as the song goes on. You can almost feel how promising this track is, even from just two minutes in. It spans for ten minutes, making it almost twice as long as most other tracks on the album, and takes you on a journey. Even though there isn’t anything happening melodically or vocally, they manage to create atmosphere just by speeding up the tempo and adding more layers to the music. The lack of vocals and melody don’t mean it’s a disappointing song, or that it’s not as good as the others on the album that do have those things. It’s a way for them to create some contrast and energy.
While almost all of the songs have a slow tempo, ‘Ilona’ mixes things up a bit. The vocals on this track aren’t as strong as in others but, as in ‘Milk,’ it does show they’re capable of being more upbeat. The album finishes as strongly as it started with the slightly-serious ‘Damage Done’ and the almost dreamy ‘This Time.’
There aren’t any real standout tracks that make or break II – but that’s not a bad thing – it’s a sign of a good album. It’s a consistent, complete body of work that flows well and is very easy to listen to. It’s a delight to get lost in the music Moderat have put together.
Get yourself a little wound-up with Moderat II‘s debut single, ‘Bad Kingdom’:
Score Moderat’s II now via Monkey Town Records.