It seems the wisdom of the so-called Electro / Wave generation, slowly but surely, is maturing enough to see that preset industrial is not so palatable, and that the composition of a song demands more than dull-handed programming; Chandeen returns, understanding like no other in this music genre, that it is not about following trends, but rather about traveling their own path. Thus they may have founded the "Heavenly Voices" genre - however, unlike other mere Epigones, they have not simply taken in the aestheticů but have through individuality, skill and style, poured it into form. The project Chandeen has lived through many metamorphosis throughout the years. The driving force has always been Harald L÷wy as "chef d'orchestre", who's visions are given breath through diverse Chanteuses. In the new reincarnation of Chandeen, it is Julia Beyer who lends a new, more fragile, autumn character than one was used to from their previous incarnations. A stroke of luck, as the interpretations have never sounded more punctuated, more inspired, more intimate and yes, in some respects more mature and developed. Julia Beyer's sad, but strong voice stands in sympathetic contrast and floats in concurrent harmony with L÷wy's tearfully beautiful songs. Meanwhile, the soul of the music remains unchanged: With remarkable consequence and his sense of tonal aesthetics, L÷wy has succeeded, as the new album, Teenage Poetry, unites tradition and vision in unique way. With songs like "Welcome the Still" (a song that deserves to be a definitive hit, if the Pop-World had preserved any remaining feeling for beauty and depth), L÷wy surprises once again with his visual soundscapes and unequaled soundtrack-like density. If one considers the similarity to greats such as Sigur R˛s, This Mortal Coil or David Sylvian, one should also remember that Chandeen began their career around the same time as the aforementioned, and are long past such comparisons (though this will not lessen the likelihood that fans of these bands will consider Teenage Poetry dear to their heartsů) Regardless, it's not likely that any fan will spend much time with this kind of hairsplitting: Teenage Poetry is a long awaited jewel, a breathing, timeless work that rewards the patient listener with a moving, tear-inducing "hidden track" featuring Anji Bee of Lovespirals. It is lovely that such music is still produced today! Welcome back Chandeen.
Somehow it seems appropriate for a band like Chandeen, identified with goth as much as any other act thanks to its general approach and label associations over the years, to have an album with a name like Teenage Poetry, a classic shorthand for feelings and sentiments that are seen as melodramatic and overly theatrical. But then again, Chandeen are much more of a quiet, restrained act in general, and on this latest album, the first featuring new singer Julia Beyer, their understatedly moody atmospherics once again reign supreme. Songs like "New Colouring Horizon," with its buried guitar chug under sweeping vocals and a distant electronic chime, shows how much the gap has narrowed between goth-as-such and goth-influenced acts like the Gathering, but the emphasis is much less on feedback and far more on electronic flow. Wordless interlude numbers like "A Last Goodbye" further add to the softly soundtrack-like feel to the album as a whole. A nice touch is a hidden track that's done with Lovespirals vocalist Anji Bee, "Tomorrow," done with just piano and a small touch of electronic textures that ends the album on a gently surprising note. Rating: 3.5/5 - Ned Raggett
Starting with a dreamlike and slightly unsettling ambient/experimental piece, the following tracks then reveal the main sound of this band which is a kind of sophisticated pop music with nods towards dreampop and electronica. Shoegazerish washes of atmospheric noise form a tapestry of sound with piano, acoustic guitar, drums, electronic effects, speech samples and classy, strong vocals from Julia Beyer. Often bands coming out of the dreampop scene don't really add anything new to the style - their stuff is great for fans of dreampop who miss the original 90s bands, but they're not really adding anything much of their own. However Chandeen retain the atmospheric elements of dreampop whilst adding a strong sense of creativity and a willingness to diversify their sound with influences from outside of the dreampop genre, as variant as dance music and neoclassical. There is a 'secret' hidden track here which is totally unlike the usual throwaway stuff bands hide away as secret tracks, being a very well crafted piano-based song with experimental soundscaping and guest vocals from the very talented singer Anji Bee.
Chandeen, whom we thought had sailed away in the glory of a lovely retrospective compilation, comes gliding back with a new siren, Julia Beyer, lifting from the helm. The classical guitars are crisp and bright, the electronics spacious and uplifting, the songs balanced, with gentle kaleidoscopic movement and few sudden surges. It's rather mature for teenage poetry, with themes of quietude and acceptance of loss, elegantly touched with glowing echoes and stylish grooves. At first it seemed simply pretty, poppy and soothing, but Chandeen's calm proves deep with subtle artistry and emotional sincerity. - Carolee
You'll excuse me, I hope, for being more than a little skeptical about an album titled Teenage Poetry. Chandeen proves my fears to be unfounded; instead of a disc's worth of overwrought whining and "no one understands me!" theatrics, Teenage Poetry is an eclectic selection of electro-ethereal. Strong female vocals take center stage, while intricate whirls of programming create sonic backdrops that vary from ominous and threatening to serene and dreamlike. Overall, the album captures a cinematic mood and effortlessly sweeps the listener along its thoughtful, introspective current. Samples and ambient bits crop up here and there, again lending the atmosphere of a movie just out of focus. Also, it's worth noting that though the album tends toward the downbeat, it does feature some infectious rhythmsŚTeenage Poetry might clear an EBM dancefloor, but old-school swirlygoth dancers will love this. Rating: 3.5 out of 5 -Jack Shear
Chandeen, a European dream-pop band founded and guided by mainstay, Harald L÷wy, has resurfaced after an extended hiatus. With many albums already in their catalogue, this revitalized version of the band adds a decidedly more melancholic gothic mood than in times past. In this incarnation, Chandeenĺs female vocals take on a less airy quality even as it fits the new album, Teenage Poetry, very well.
Chandeen has marvelously evolved in style and content over the years. On Teenage Poetry, they take their successful European dream-pop formula and infuse it with an introspective edge. Vocalist Julia Beyer does an excellent job of making that transition an effective one with her naturally tender, melancholy delivery evocative of deep thought. L÷wy, who understands Chandeen best, is expert at capturing moments with his piano treatments and synth-works. With the help of co-producer and bandmate, Mike Brown, the trio that is Chandeen (along with Julia Beyer) has made Teenage Poetry one of the bandĺs more memorable moments.
The eleven originals found on Teenage Poetry are twilight-haunting with their softly tinkling keys that bring to mind a meditative period, where one focuses in on a crystallizing thought. Some songs start with eerie spoken intros, while others are synth-ambient throughout. One thing is evident. Chandeen has found themselves again, and fans get to enjoy yet another album, even if long awaited. -Matt Rowe
Featuring a new vocalist, this resurrected German darkwave project shimmers between shoegazer and ethereal motifs.
While many of their fans felt that with the departure of vocalist Antje Schultz, this '90s-era German darkwave band was effectively no more. While Schultz was quite the presence, she was not their first muse, and thus with the addition of Julia Beyer, Chandeen has been resurrected after a four year absence to offer onto the masses their Teenage Poetry.
Beyer's certainly not new to the world of music; her other project, Technoir has been an underground success for years within the European synthpop scene. While a few electronic elements do glimmer here and there alongside Beyer's lush talent, one shouldn't expect any residual technopop here. Chandeen's vision remains drifting and enigmatic, with the record being like an autumn sea filled with currents of piano and acoustic guitar with ripples of relaxed percussion. "Welcome the Still" is a shoegazer album cover in motion; amidst intermittent strums of acoustic guitar and trembling waves of luminous synth, bare bone drums snap their fingers with beat poet leisure to Beyer's vivid sighs of ennui. Their instrumentation grows in breadth for "New Colouring Horizon," though their watercolor motives remain largely the same. Beyer tiptoes around falsetto memories of lost love to the ginger twinkle of piano, yet the piece grows bold as guitarist Mike Brown bows into the spotlight to offer a brassy jangle. With "The Coming Dawn," even their lyrics fade into their pastel-colored storm cloud. Though strands of Beyer's cottony lilt remain, its core is a caramel drift of Spanish-inflected acoustic guitar, dreamy wordless sighs, and the aloof hoot of forest woodwinds. However, the sweetest melodrama is within "From the Inside;" it's like reflecting back on a sour memory only to find the inherent beauty in such youthful drama. Beginning with swampy bass drum croaks and curious bubbles, it seems at first that Beyer's velvet melancholy will be mired within this trip-hop bog. However, while her lyrics may remain bittersweet at best, a golden stroke of guitar in its chorus causes it to glow daydream bright.
Though quite lustrous, one may find that Teenage Poetry doesn't quite live up to its dramatic title. Each piece is quite lovely and sentimental, but it doesn't stray to far from its downtrodden core. Still, Beyer's wondrous voice brings back memories of the dusky Cowboy Junkies, especially when tangled with Brown's somber guitar work. Even though it's more of a steady plateau of quality than one studded with peaks and valleys, it's a gorgeous release that should sate any Chandeen fan's heart. Rating: 3.5 out of 5 -Vlad McNeally