Does it sound mean to say that the expectations for a Yvonne Catterfeld album weren’t exactly sky high? The woman, who made her breakthrough as a GZSZ actress in the noughties, took on music from day one, also successfully. A bit sappy, a bit predictable, but she was never one of the bad protagonists of the German pop industry.
But just as she now embodies a more complex character in the acting in the crime series “Wolfsland”, she has also increasingly turned music into a pure passion project. “Change“is now appearing for the first time in English, again on its own label – and even if you still stick to the phrases, Catterfeld shows herself today as a musician who wants to prove herself.
Above all, they prove that she definitely has something on the box when it comes to vocals. If the predecessor “Guten Morgen Freiheit” wanted to sound too trendy, it now lets its true influences shine through here. Yvonne speaks of Alicia Keys and Lauryn Hill, and you understand what she means: those acrobatic R’n’B runs in the voice, it radiates emotion, it even brings a gospel choir into the background and sounds in front of it not out of place.
The result is a whole series of numbers that work solidly: Just getting started “Change“shows a hunger when it impresses with ambitious harmonies and a large-scale prelude. It is about change, even if more in the abstract sense. Change that you fear, change that you benefit from, shaped by this one virus in the background. A Corona album should be “Change“But don’t mention it anyway. But many songs lack a trace of personal detail in order to be really great.
Often the project has an aura of personality attached to it, but then this hope does not come true. She sings personal songs with professional etiquette, as if she didn’t want to put the work-life balance into trouble on the mic. The fact that the record is currently appearing next to a soul monster like the new Adele tape doesn’t help, of course. This shows in all virtuosity how to load the format of the great ballad as light as a feather with really personal details and really radiant observations. And how to have fun with the formula.
Catterfeld has a strong voice and the will to show it. But in the key moments when she could underpin talent and tradition with personality, she hides behind phrases. From “perfect imperfections“we don’t hear once, but twice,”I said that we needed to change / but everything comes to an end“she sings on”Back In July“.
The fact that one thinks that more would have been possible and that the shrinking back from this final consequence is bitter can be felt mainly because apart from that, the record sometimes sounds really good, not just so good German pop consolation prize, but genuinely good. Catterfeld does not have to hide in international comparison. And she is always best when she lets loose a little: “Bullshit” and “Tip Toe“The easiest way to write to yourself is to create the most catchy grooves. The production exudes an unusually large amount of character, tasteful percussion elements and vocal snippets are pushed around, that sounds energetic, that sounds up-to-date, that sounds catchy. Catterfeld is establishing herself as a strong performer, and the audience always has fun when they have it too.
Catterfeld justified the decision to switch to English by saying that German always seems so cerebral and rational to her. And there is some truth to it. In the best moments of “Change“She literally shook off German pop, lived up to her named inspirations and made some of the best songs of her career. But you get the German from German, but German not from German – after all – and so a few of them stay classic weaknesses in “Change” be liable.
Especially, the big notes hardly come out of the phrase juice. Ironically, the record dilutes itself more and more into nice radio toothless, the closer it gets to the big, abstract themes. If she sings out of her mind, on the other hand, it becomes more and more of a liberation. If Catterfeld stays in this zone, she will undoubtedly become the queen at every exchange concert in the next few years.
3.Back in July
9.Let You Go
10.I Think I Love You
13.Let You Go (Acoustic)
OVERALL RATING: 4 stars