Faun has been one of my favourite bands for some years now so I’ll not beat about any bushes: I am incredibly biased.
This review is for the deluxe version of their gold-selling ‘Von den Elben’. The deluxe version comes with a couple of extra tracks and a D.V.D. but is otherwise the same in content to the plain C.D. which I also own. I do believe that it is worth getting the deluxe version if you’re a fan of the band as the D.V.D. is, in my mind, worth as much as the C.D. itself.
So, despite the fact I’ve had the music for a long while, what about the C.D.? It’s different to what you’re used to hearing with Faun but that was expected. It’s not different in a bad way either, but I do think that it’s something you have to bear in mind when listening.
As an overall listening experience, this C.D. is enjoyable. There is, as one comes to expect from Faun, a mixture of different styles of songs from percussion heavy, to dance songs, to softer ballads and, as always, they carry these styles off with musical aplomb. Listening through the C.D., the tracks work as an overall experience and there’s not one song that I would skip and therefore wish to actively avoid. This is a rarity as there tends to be at least one track per album (generally, not talking about Faun here) that bores me and gets skipped. There are, however, a few tracks on ‘Von den Elben’ that I wouldn’t choose to actively listen to because they’re simply not as strong or memorable in comparison to the others.
So what about the songs that I love on this album? I think that it was right to choose ‘Diese kalte Nacht’ as their music video single as it’s probably one of the strongest on the album. It has a strong rhythm, some lovely instrumentation, and a sweet storyline. ‘Tanz mit mir’ is a drinking type song, a raucous duet featuring Santiano and is a fantastic fun and catchy song. ‘Welche Sprache spricht dein herz’ is a slower song, with a slightly rhythm driven chorus, that has a really beautiful melody, in my opinion, and some wonderful vocals too. That said, my favourite song on the album has to be the stunning ‘Thymian & Rosmarin’ which is simple, soft, and stunning. It’s a real clear cut favourite.
The two news songs on the album do rather stand out as ‘bonus tracks’ as they don’t seem to fit in with the style of the album itself but would probably fit right in on one of Faun’s older albums. ‘Sao Roma’ is a great track that starts off with a haunting melody and then somehow becomes a fast, driven piece of music(**)! ‘Lorelei’ is also quite wonderful and reminds me a bit of one of those dark children’s fairy-tale songs that you come across during the verse while the chorus lifts out of this a little.
The reason to get the deluxe version, however, is definitely the D.V.D. or, more importantly, the documentary. The documentary was really interesting to watch, made me smile a fair few times. it also comes with English subtitles which is great for those people who don’t speak German or who, like me, are lazy (*). It’s accessible, has enough details of interest for long term fans yet is presented in a light and general enough way to make it enjoyable for new fans too.
Overall, I do like the C.D. ‘Von den Elben’ a lot. It has enough positive points to keep the negative at bay and is worth the money spent. I also would hesitate to moan about it not sounding like Faun, as I have heard others do, although it is worth comment. Sure, it’s different to their other albums but each of their albums is different anyway and it’s still got some exceptional pieces on it. I would definitely recommend buying the deluxe edition of the album because, as I said, the D.V.D. is well made and worth the extra money. I don’t regret buying the album twice either.
(*) or have English as a second language but not German!
(**)My mother and I are both guilty of driving around the streets of Birmingham with this particular song blasting out the car windows!