- Ellen Allien's Sool, her 2008 full-length, was met with mixed reviews; some said it was disappointing, others an intricate grower. Lover is a return to a club-geared single not seen since Go in 2007, which failed to live up to expectations. So what's the deal with Ms. Allien? Are we facing an increasingly uninspiring set of releases until her career is based merely on reputation, or will she bounce back with the same sentimental bangers that are equally at home on the dance floor or the armchair?
The PR blurb, as you might expect, votes for the latter. Saying that "Lover" is a "delicate, shining secret... that naturally lacks of any concrete tangibility." To my ears, though, "Lover" has plenty of concrete tangibility, and not much secret. It's as if Ellen has said to herself "I'll make a comeback club track," but forgotten to put in the inventiveness and, well, the Ellen-ness that we love her for. Peak time it surely is, effective it may be, but special it ain't.
"You Are" is better, marching along unstoppably as the bass bumbles and the lead squawks, syncopating against each other snappily. This is cool stuff, tough and intelligent. There's still the feeling that she's not quite up to stride, the collection of hooks feels arbitrarily put together, with the arrangement lacking something; but there's enough difference here to set it apart and gain approval from today's exacting clubbers. A return to form? Not quite, but don't give up on her just yet.
B You Are