Berlin return with a best of that's actually all fresh recordings of some of the bands classics but performed with the Prague Symphony Orchestra and the Slovenian Symphonic Film Orchestra along-side the bands original trio of Terri Nunn on Vocals, John Crawford on Bass and David Diamond on Keyboards.
This album will be perfect as a stocking filler for any electro pop or pop fans as it sounds totally magnificent throughout.
Now to music snobs like myself Berlin were not a band I ever took seriously thinking they were pop fluff, but like all the best bands over the years the songs worm there way into your heads and consciousness so that even a non-fan like me can sing along to half of the songs on this album and I guess all the bands millions of fans Like my fab Girlfriend will sing along to all the songs. For the band's fans at least they are getting extremely great new versions of the songs rather than re-buying songs they already own.
The opening Take Your Turn really sounds like a lush overture with windswept strings and the full orchestration being a good lead into this album.
The Metro takes the electro pop foundations and adds the strings swirling around Terri Nunn's wonderfully icy vocals as they take us on a trip down to The Metro and yes it sounds more like the Club in Chicago than the underground although obviously, they are singing about riding on a train.
No More Words opens with the strings bringing a feeling of sadness and regret before the synth drums klick in and give it a clubby undertow to this tale of a relationship falling to pieces as the brass and string really swell over the pumping beat.
Next is the bands total monument Take My Breath Away from the film Top Gun and this just sounds fabulous augmented with the strings for a song that I have to admit I hated when it came out, but has worked its magic on me over the years, for me it sounds so much better with the orchestra.
Masquerade still has its cheesy synth core as Terri sings about all the things that might happen to you at the Masquerade only now with the strings and orchestration it sounds like a far fancier party than it originally did, I would still like to know how I know almost all the words to this song.
Now It's My Turn opens almost like the lead into the chorus of Europe's The Final Countdown before going its own way into a deliciously complex domestic drama that seems to soar and soar as Terri triumphs over adversity as she reads her Innamorato their rights to listen to cheesy synths and rejoice at the swirling strings.
The bands first hit single is next the wonderfully sleazy Sex (I'm Aâ€¦) that takes its classic Hi-Nrg roots and covers them with the sweeping strings that stir different emotions to the central pounding beat to make this sleazy and sexy and very infectious indeed.
On My Knees sounds like a widescreen epic film soundtrack with Terri Nunn's vocals almost narrating what happens on the screen as it slowly builds.
Like Flames starts off like an almost intermission piece before the pounding electro beat comes in and before you know it the whole room is singing along to this monster smash hit as they try to remember how many different club's they have danced to this in. Oh and they use that signature Simple Minds La La la la bit far better than Jim Kerr and his mates ever did. Almost impossible not to dance along to this version.
Will I Ever Understand You is one of those questions most couples ask each other at some point, Berlin ask the question in a great upbeat almost rocking surging bit of electro pop encased in the strings to add emphasis to some of the questions being asked.
You Don't Know is full of regret and wonder with that carefully precise bass line remaining constant as the strings do all sorts of stuff to emphasize the lyrics as the harp heralds the weird breakdown into odd synth noises and a slow build back to a lush sense of bemusement that after all these years You Don't Know, when will you ever learn.
The album closes with Hideaway a widescreen take on this song of sorrow and pain of another breakup for a friend who your going to allow to Hideaway in your arms this goes full on epic in almost every sense and sounds magnificent while doing just as much as the rest of the album does.
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