Tag Archives: The Model

Kraftwerk according to….. Seu Jorge!

WE ARE LIFELONG FANS OF THE ICONIC & LEGENDARY GERMAN ELECTRONIC BAND KRAFTWERK, ALTHOUGH THEIR CULT STATUS AND THE AMOUNT OF PRE-EXISTING PRESS ON THEM PRECLUDES OUR NEED TO WRITE MUCH ON THE SUBJECT . WHAT COULD WE ADD TO THE MASS OF WORDS DIRECTED TOWARD THEM OVER THE DECADES?

NOT MUCH ON KRAFTWERK THEMSELVES, BUT COVER VERSIONS OF THEIR SONGS ARE A DIFFERENT MATTER.  WE MUST SAY THOUGH THAT IT IS ALWAYS WITH CURIOSITY (and perhaps a healthy dose of skepticism) THAT WE APPROACH COVER VERSIONS OF KRAFTWERK’S SONGS.  WHO HAS THE BALLS TO ATTEMPT TO DO A VERSION OF A SONG THAT HAS BEEN DILIGENTLY CRAFTED (no pun intended) BY THE VERY PICTURE OF GERMAN MELODIC EFFICASY, RHYTHMIC PRECISION AND STUDIO FASTIDIOUSNESS?  WELL….. SEU JORGE IT TURNS OUT.

THE BRASILIAN SINGER IS PROBABLY KNOWN TO MOST AS THE DUDE IN WES ANDERSON’S 2004 FILM THE LIFE AQUATIC THAT SINGS DAVID BOWIE SONGS IN PORTUGUESE, ALTHOUGH BEFORE THAT HE WAS A WELL-KNOWN SINGER IN HIS NATIVE COUNTRY AND HAD PLAYED ‘KNOCKOUT NED’ IN THE 2002 FILM CITY OF GOD.  THIS TIME JORGE, AND HIS BAND ALMAZ, TURN THEIR ATTENTION TO ‘DAS MODEL’ OFF OF KRAFTWERK’S 1978 ALBUM DIE MENSCH-MASCHINE…… AND WITH SURPRISING RESULTS;  THE COVER IS ACTUALLY QUITE GOOD.  JORGE & BAND HAVE DECIDED TO DO A ‘STRAIGHT’ COVER HERE BY NOT MONKEYING WITH THE SONG STRUCTURE AT ALL.  IT’S JUST AS KRAFTWERK WROTE IT, THOUGH THERE ISN’T A SYNTHESIZER TO BE HEARD.  THIS VERSION OF ‘THE MODEL’ IS DONE IN A LAID-BACK SURF STYLE, WITH REVERB-SOAKED GUITAR TAKING CARE OF THE MELODY LINES ORIGINALLY VOICED WITH KEYBOARDS.  IT SOUNDS PLEASINGLY “LIVE” AND WORKS REMARKABLY WELL BY ADDING A UNIQUE PRESENTATION TO A FAIRLY WELL KNOWN PIECE WHILE MAINTAINING THE INTEGRITY OF THE ORIGINAL.  JORGE’S NICCOTINE-STAINED VOICE IS PERHAPS ANTITHETICAL TO RALF HUTTER’S, YET SOMEHOW IT’S SEXY IN A WAY THAT WE’RE SURE KRAFTWERK NEVER IMAGINED. 

WE’LL NOT COMMENT ON THE REST OF THE 2010 ALBUM, NOR THEIR COVER OF MICHAEL JACKSON’S “ROCK WITH YOU” RIGHT NOW.


EVEN IF YOU CAN’T ABIDE BY SEU JORGE & ALMAZ’S AMBITION IN COVERING KRAFTWERK, YOU HAVE TO ADMIRE THEIR APPROACH:

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