You may not have heard of Herbert Grönemeyer but you’ve almost certainly seen him. Think back a few years to Wolfgang Petersen’s moody, suspense-laden U-Boot epic ‘Das Boot’. A low-budget affair and worldwide smash that came out of nowhere, due not least in part to its use of actors relatively unknown even in Germany. Remember the wisecracking smart-ass Lieutenant Werner with his unkempt shock of Boris Johnson-stye blonde hair? Yep, that was Herb who by then (1981) was a good seven years or so into his acting career.

gemishgefuhl.jpg3 starsGemischte Gefühle

(Mixed Feelings, 100% native)

An early album which does have some 80’s synth-pop but the quality is there. Standout tracks : Musik, nur wenn sie laut ist (Music, only when it’s loud), Ich hab’ Dich Bloß geliebt (All I did was love you)

Grönemeyer has made several more screen appearances over the years but as far as I can see now concentrates mainly on song. The film world’s loss is our gain. Grönemeyer’s singing persona consists of gravelly clipped tones coupled with a world-weary nonchalance somewhat reminiscent of Bill Murray circa Lost in Translation. The world and all life’s batty idiosyncrasies are a specimen jar to Grönemeyer and he seems to enjoy nothing better than sitting back with his feet up and taking notes.

Which is not to say he’s a cold-hearted old cynic. With a rich voice that echoes that of our own Elton John in a quieter moment crossed with the bluesy edge of say, someone like Boz Scaggs you’ll find yourself warming to him pretty soon. The result is an engaging mix of gossamer touch and hard-hitting growl; ingredients which more than helped propel his 2000 single/album ‘Mensch’ (Human) into a zillion seller.


(12, 100% native)


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