Album Review

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Publicity still for Kraftwerk: Trans-Europe Express
Trans-Europe Express
5 out of 5


Thanks to continental drift, Americans must cross an ocean to experience the luxury of trans-European travel. In 1977, Germany's robot-pop manufacturers, Kraftwerk (translation: "power station"), celebrated these cross-country jaunts with their landmark release, Trans-Europe Express. Ripe with unlikely hooks and hypnotic, minimalist arrangements, tracks like the bright, crisp "Europe Endless" and the existential "The Hall of Mirrors," were (and are) the sound of the future, employing sounds similar to the video games and sci-fi films of the era and informing an entire generation of music-makers. T.E.E.'s influence in unprecedented, reaching as wide as rock (Radiohead's Kid A), hip-hop (Afrika Bambaataa's classic "Planet Rock," Jay Dee's recent "Big Booty Express") and pop (Madonna's Drowned World Tour, which incorporated samples of "Metal on Metal"). Kraftwerk's meditative T.E.E. is a sonic poem to Europe, a continent that has proven, time and again, to be the birthplace of musical innovation and, well, the Eurorail.

Label: Capitol Release date: November 2, 1977

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