The rose on the cover is a good indication: This time around, Bilderbuch is all about love. Perhaps not such a bad recipe in dark times. However, on their seventh album “Gelb ist das Feld”, which will be released digitally tomorrow and also physically at the end of April, the successful Austrian band is very excited to play, in a very classic sense. Shoegaze, classic rock, indie pop – everything has its place.
15 songs in just over an hour: The quartet Maurice Ernst (vocals), Peter Horazdowski (bass), Michael Kramer (guitar), and Philip Schieble (drums) performed sumptuously this time around. A little over three years after the experimental double-hit “mea culpa” and “Vernissage My Heart,” it appears that the band’s traditional motif is driving Bilderbuch. Play, play, play as if there is no tomorrow.
The opener ‘Bergauf’, hitting her target after just six minutes, underscores this – with soft, fluffy guitars, plenty of air to breathe and some finely crafted touches that provide just the right atmosphere. In terms of content, love is initially presented as “just a fantasy”, but Ernst is ultimately convinced: “We must believe!”
And the following picture book then suffices as well. The songs “Nahuel Huapi” and “Day Draining”, which were released as appetizers last year, are already focused on personal relationships, and now there are also extra “dates”, which are thrown in a soft dress from the 80s. Or ‘Klima’, which takes you to the country, where guitars flatter you when a lady and her boy get too hot – and vice versa, of course.
It all eventually culminates in “Baby, you know”: “Put me in, I’m ready for you” sure thing, isn’t it? In “Blütenstaub” Ernst, continuing his experiment and testing from German and English texts, came up with a clear metaphor for the train. But you also need to remember: if a person is allowed to do such a thing, it is him.
It’s a constant flow that Yellow is developing. There are hardly any breakthroughs to faster worlds or even a funk that has worked so well since the days of Shake Shock. Instead, Bilderbuch prefers to wrap the audience in a voice that hugs the whole world. The more beat and tempo there is, but above all Krammer is allowed to play his guitar properly as in “I’m Not Gonna Lie”, the more charisma he has. Go ahead, you can nod, yeah, you can dance right away. And on top of that there is an undeniable wisdom: “This world is changing.”
The hit Bilderbuch has always given so far is missing this time. The best that can be done is to put the Schwarzes Karma in the same tray that the Maschin, Bungalow or Frisbeee is already comfortable in. On the other hand: Maybe the goal wasn’t to get the singles out of the big picture. In this regard, “Gelb ist das Feld” is delightfully old, becoming an album he wants to be enjoyed in one piece rather than fragmented.
They are the light sounds of love that Bilderbuch offers, and they do it their typical way – without being guided by current trends and constantly undermining the expectations placed in them. The result takes some getting used to and lacks a bit at the first listening impression of the work so far, but a true evaluation is likely only possible from a short distance away. It doesn’t have to be love at first sight to grow on you.
(Service – picture book on tour: April 21 Salzburg, April 22 Linz, May 5-7 Vienna, June 30 and July 1 Graz 😉
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