Wednesday, February 11, 2004

Body Language

Posted By on Wed, Feb 11, 2004 at 12:00 AM

VS.

Kraftwerk
Tour De France Soundtracks
EMI

[FADE IN]

Howard Cosell: Welcome back to Las Vegas where we have just been witness to one of the most stunning upsets in the history of the human eardrum. With me is sports authority Bert Randolph Sugar, and, Bert, they billed this misshapen match up as being The Beat Battle Of The Century but I’m sure you have to agree with me when I say that this one-sided rout was nothing short of an auditory annihilation of unprecedented proportions.

Bert Sugar (chewing cigar): Well, Howard, I’m sure we’re not the only ones surprised to see Kraftwerk lose its heavyweight championship so easily this evening but, really, what did you expect? Rust never sleeps, and these guys haven’t been in the ring since 1986 when they barely kept the title with Electric Café. And you know what a letdown that album was after their decisive TKO of 1981.

Cosell: Of course you’re referring to the prescient pop presentation of Computer Welt, and I agree: Electric Café didn’t have the legs to go the distance. However it’s no secret, Bert, that when you’re the beloved champion, sometimes the judges will give you an unearned decision on points. But we all know that the title track was little more than a synthetic simulacrum of “Trans Europa Express.” Clearly this was a band running out of ideas, even then. I’ve heard Tour De France Soundtracks and it couldn’t have crushed a grape.

Sugar: You have to admit that Ralf and Florian did score with their original “Tour De France” single.

Cosell: I’ll admit no such thing. As witnessed by this wretched new release, they’ve been milking that one song dry since 1983. You’d think that after 20 years they could come up with a new title and cover design. And “Expo 2000” was nothing but a tune-up exhibition match against a power puff opponent. No, Bert, the only track on this album that sounds anything like vital Kraftwerk is “Titanium,” which doesn’t even run long enough to break a sweat — inescapably ironic, considering that this is a concept album about racing bicycles.

Sugar (adjusting fedora): Well, it’s obvious that the whole record is nothing but a cheap copy of “Temporary Secretary” off McCartney 2.

Cosell: Bert, you saw the one-two punch; that’s why the lady is a champ. First, she cleverly calls her new album Body Language to evocatively evoke the retroactive Hot Space legacy of the late Freddie Mercury. Then she ensures that it percolates with the same kind of pulsating pudenda-pumping beats that Giorgio Moroder used to provide for Donna Summer. And, like the beloved First Lady Of Disco, I see great things in store for this Kylie Minogue. Because when it comes to electronic dance music these days, as Carly Simon would say, nobody does it better.

Sugar (chewing cigar): It’s a good thing Nat Fleischer isn’t around to hear this.

Cosell: I’m just telling it like it is — and in your heart, you know I’m right. Coming up, we’re going to have a Tale Of The Tape preview of next week’s main event between Amanda Lear and Britney Spears. But first, here are Schultz and Dooley with a few words about Utica Club.

[FADE OUT]

E-mail Jeffrey Morgan at letters@metrotimes.com.

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