Sweet Silence


This is the sixth album by Berlin-based musician Barbara Morgenstern. Following 2010's Fan No. 2 (MONIKA 070CD), a greatest hits compilation of a different kind, Sweet Silence contains a fresh collection of all new songs sung for the first time only in English. As with all of Morgenstern's music, Sweet Silence exudes a glorious honesty which is just what makes her electronic pop sound so appealing. The record was mixed by Shitkatapult founder Marco Haas aka T.Raumschmiere, giving the whole thing that unmistakable Berlin sound. BM breaks the ice on the album with the title song "Sweet Silence," an anthemic intro enriched with vocal delays which sets the mood nicely. Morgenstern soon picks up the pace on "Need To Hang Around" -- this spirited song is a friendly reminder of how important it is to step back every once in a while. It's lighthearted while still carrying an important message; indeed, it remains a large part of the singer's charm that she never takes her music seriously. German fans already know Morgenstern's lyrics have always contained a great depth of meaning and imagery as well as humor. Now, with Sweet Silence, everyone can join in understanding the ideas and experiences at the heart of Morgenstern's songs, rather than just enjoying the sound of her voice on a purely instrumental level. That said, "Kookoo" works on both levels with profound lyrics and extensive creative use of vocal sampling. "Jump Into The Life-Pool" relates the age-old story that is the cycle of life, spiraling ever onwards just like the arpeggiated synth loops that are to be heard in the song. The short interlude "Bela" is one of only three instrumental tracks on an album so reliant on Morgenstern's tremendous vocal presence. "Highway" is probably the most orchestral tune, with a swelling string arrangement setting the mood. "The Minimum Says" is one of the few songs to feature guitar on a predominantly electronic album. "Auditorium" switches instrumentation again -- this time to a Rhodes and some seriously jazzy riffs. "Hip Hop Mice" is the second instrumental number on Sweet Silence and is somewhat reminiscent of Morgenstern's collaboration with Robert Lippok on Tesri, with the focus being purely on electronica and less weight being given to any pop aspect in the music. At just over five and a half minutes, "Status Symbol" seems to have almost epic proportions on an album that otherwise pretty much sticks to the three-minute golden rule of pop -- a long, drawn-out hypnotic jam that has something of a Nichts Muss feel to it. Sweet Silence is in many ways a milestone in Morgenstern's career and the next leg in her ongoing musical journey.