De/Vision – Citybeats

De/Vision - City Beats

Album facts

Release: June 22nd, 2018
Label: Popgefahr Records
Genre: ,
Discogs: Link

De/Vision fly on the streamline

'Citybeats' is the name of the new 'De/Vision' album. Only two years have passed since the last fant­ast­ic album '13'. So Steffen Keth and Thomas Adam were by no means inact­ive and have man­aged to pro­duce a new album in addi­tion to tour and oth­er fest­iv­al gigs.

The album '13' was at that time named the album of the year 2016 at Electrozombies. The more excited we are on the cur­rent work 'Citybeats'. But let's start the review with no pres­sure in advance.

A gentle landing approach

'De/Vision' starts their new album with a slow, almost bal­lad speed track called 'In The Still Of The Night'. The song is sound­tech­nic­ally down­right a 'De/Vision' clas­sic. You can hear new mater­i­al without being over­ex­ten­ded. The beats leis­urely wobble into the auricle and you will be instantly enchanted.

The second track 'Joys Of Paradise' has a little more oomph and also sounds the same a little dark­er. The urgency of worldly desires is subtly and beau­ti­fully described here. The song has many var­ied pas­sages and remains excit­ing over the entire length.

'Dystopia' uniquely com­bines a mel­an­chol­ic and slug­gish beat with angel­ic, almost epic strings and a highly melod­ic chor­us. Hope and mel­an­choly are both dan­cing on the same tightrope and bal­an­cing out in a strange way. A really great song.

We cruise with devotion through the sonorous cityscape

The first single 'They Won't Silence Us' is a bril­liant song on this album. The track has everything an excel­lent single needed. A light, catchy tune, excit­ing new sound samples and a clas­sic Synth Pop beat. The bridge with the mil­it­ary-style drums is simply bom­bast­ic. This is a typ­ic­al 'De/Vision' song that stays in the ear.

De/Vision Press Photo 2016 v2
De/Vision – Press Photo

'Not In My Nature' is anoth­er awe­some track on the album 'Citybeats', which in my opin­ion could also be a worthy single release. There is great momentum between verse and chor­us. 'De/Vision' did a great job on this dynam­ic son­ic beha­viour. The song is power­ful and multi-layered without sound­ing too overloaded.

Personally, I con­sider the song 'The Brightest Star' the weak­est on the album. But what does that mean, if the track is just great any­way? Probably that the album seems almost per­fect. For even a rel­at­ively weak 'De/Vision' song oth­er bands have to prove first doing the same quality.

The city also has industrial areas

The sev­enth track 'Under Heavy Fire' presents itself with a rather ser­i­ous and up-to-date theme. In the basic melody, the mel­an­choly oscil­lates in time with the sad-sound­ing bass line. The singing is espe­cially emo­tion­al and warm here.

… we are born to hate each oth­er, every­where I look there is blood and thunder …
Lyrics from 'Under Heavy Fire' by De/Vision

Like an acous­tic release, the song 'A Pawn In The Game' feels and we fly away with ease. A very dance­able track with a pos­it­ive mes­sage. The vita of the song is to believe in your­self, but not to take your­self too seriously.

Grimly twis­ted elec­tro samples backed by a dirty-sound­ing elec­tric gui­tar sounds equi­val­ent to the song title 'A Storm Is Rising'. This reminds me of the 'Ultra' time of 'Depeche Mode'. A cool, indus­tri­al Synth Pop defin­i­tion is most likely to apply here. The guys have a fit­ting inter­lude damn clev­er at the end of this track. My con­clu­sion: I like!

'Last Goodbye' starts with a kind of ali­en scream­ing siren from a dis­tance. A small por­tion of a typ­ic­al Doctor Who sound is also included. After the really strange sound­ing begin­ning, we get presen­ted a fant­ast­ic­ally beau­ti­ful Synth Pop bal­lad. Here at the end of the album you get the oppor­tun­ity to dream and to reminisce.

Has 'Citybeats' arrived at our place?

Definitely! Even though the over­all score is a bit lower than the last album '13', this is like a blast. Once again 'De/Vision' proves that even after 30 years they can still pro­duce great and fresh Synth Pop albums. And 'Citybeats' is a prime example.

Unfortunately I only had the stand­ard ver­sion for review, but I guess the 2CD lim­ited edi­tion is abso­lutely worth to buy. For me, the lim­ited edi­tion of 'Citybeats' is a must-have in my col­lec­tion, so what are you wait­ing for?

By the way, this album also made it into our art­icle ‘The best Synth Pop and genre-related albums 2018‘. Read now.

Track By Track Rating

De/Vision - City Beats
In The Still Of The Night
Joys Of Paradise
They Won't Silence Us
Not In My Nature
The Brightest Star
Under Heavy Fire
A Pawn In The Game
A Storm Is Rising
Last Goodbye
They Won't Silence Us
Not In My Nature
(Nothing to report here)

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