First of all, I would like to thank Jessica from result promotion, who has sent me the promo copy ‘Unexpected Truth Within’ by ‘M.I.N.E’ already in the mid of March. So I already had the pleasure to listen to the album for the last 6 weeks. A thousand thanks for that early access! Feel hugged.
‘Unexpected Truth Within’ is certainly one of the scene’s most anticipated Synth Pop albums. And rightly so! What us Camouflage vocalist Marcus Meyn, Fools Garden guitarist/composer Volker Hinkel and drummer/keyboardist and producer Jochen Schmalbach (Madonna, Depeche Mode, A-ha, Fanta 4, among others) musically provides, is simply awesome!
It’s been a little bit longer, more precisely in February 2017, when the trio gave us a musical taste with their EP ‘One‘. That time it was already clear that something big is coming up. And one thing I can tell you already right now: You will not be disappointed by the album, which contains 12 great tracks!
From the beginning, a stunner
Kneel down in front of the opener ‘The One‘. From the first second, the sound is in a good mood. The song is catchy and exudes a youthful charm and you can feel how much passion is in the song. ‘The One’ has enormous potential to become an evergreen for me and maybe for you as well. From my side this track deserves the full possible score.
All we’ve got to do is keep crawling, down to the border line. Those you’re going to proof your falling, like the one, the one we left behind.Lyrics from 'The One' by M.I.N.E
Significantly reduced and quiet presents ‘Same But Different’. In general, the song sounds reduced compared to the opener, but is in itself a complex ballad with a lot of dynamics, but it is very light-footed therefore. From the acoustic mood I would like to compare it with ‘Clean‘ or ‘Condemnation’ of ‘Depeche Mode’.
With a portion of 90s equip Acid / House elements paired with the classic Synth Pop attitude, ‘MeOrMy’ could fill the dance floors this summer. The piece pulls on one, like a magnet a piece of metal. The beat is driving and the tempo is moving in the middle up-beat level. The vocals are demanding and give the album a great variety. A fantastic and powerful track.
The awesomeness continues
Funny fact: In the first seconds of ‘Undone’, I was thinking I’m listening to ‘Perfect‘ by ‘Depeche Mode‘. The sample is just a bit faster! The song is also an extremely danceable composition that is second to none. A good crisp beat with brilliant electronic samples and sound effects. This is exactly what a modern Synth Pop has to sound like: Fresh, but somehow familiar.
I’m not sure if I should lose words about ‘Things We’ve Done‘ at this point. Everybody should know and love this thing. The track is melancholic, profound and simply beautifully arranged. For me personally one of the best songs of the last years. In a way, the song sets me indeed in a sad mood, but I feel somehow deeply connected with this one. A combination that is rare and therefore I would like to take this opportunity to thank the band in particular.
The things that we do brings sorrow and pain, but we can’t staunch the flood.Lyrics from 'Things We've Done' by M.I.N.E
More sonically experimental and unusual is the song ‘Lean On’. Almost Industrial-like sounds permeate the verses rough and dark. But the gloomy clouds break when the chorus is inserted, and the piece experiences a clear, melodious uplift.
Again a ‘Depeche Mode’ reference
‘Wonder’ starts with a wild western style attitude and has similar samples like ‘Personal Jesus‘. I know, this is already the third reference to ‘Depeche Mode’, but that does not mean anything bad. We know that Markus Meyn is a DM fanboy. Maybe Volker and Jochen would like to express themselves on that topic in the comments below?
The third single ‘Dangerous‘ has a splendid marching beat and sounds very unique. The song has a fantastic arc of suspense, which gradually builds up beat by beat and then finds its climax in an intense chorus. The song was already on EP ‘One’ and at that time I thought the song had the requirements of a gorgeous single. Nice that it worked.
Super electronic, ‘White Trash’ introduces itself to the listener and convinces lyrically with a gloomy and painful text. Soundwise, the song could be a lost tune from the ‘Voices & Images‘ album by ‘Camouflage’. In other words, you can expect a great electro alternative song with the spirit of the 80s.
Another sonically twist that makes you praise
‘Reach Out’ has an almost brutal rock song vibe, but is also truly full packed with electronics. I know that sounds strange in the first moment, but it works beautifully. For example, I know a similarly remarkable mix from the song ‘Pitch Black / Heat Death‘ by ‘Apoptygma Berzerk’, which I also love. So, if you are open-minded in mixing rough guitars and drums with electronic instruments then you’re going to be very happy with this one.
Not another boring piano ballad that is called ‘A World Without A Smile’ was my initial thoughts while listening to it’s the first time. I do not know why, but somehow the song cast a spell on me. Maybe it’s the soulful lyrics that does not leave me cold or emotionless or the melancholic mood that builds up the song. Anyway, the saying: “Never judge a book by it’s cover” hits again.
The not quite unexpected truth
The album ‘Unexpected Truth Within’ by ‘M.I.N.E’ is a stunning record that could become the best album in 2018. Synth Pop awaits you at its best with a slight touch of Electrorock elements. For fans of ‘Camouflage’ and ‘Depeche Mode’ anyway a must have.
But before I finish this review, there is only one thing left to say: “Thank you Markus, Volker and Jochen for this masterpiece. I love you guys.”.