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'13 Kinds Of Happiness'   

-  Label: 'Affairs Of The Heart'
-  Genre: 'Pop' -  Release Date: '10th August 2018'

Our Rating:
Stella is kind of a pop star in Germany as the front person of the band Die Heiterkeit and if this is what passes for pop in Germany then it looks like we're missing out.

In some ways it reminds me of the legendary Billie Ray Martin in terms of the tone and register and this means melancholy and heartache is never too far away. Cabaret-style torch songs but not necessarily about some guy you know?

The titular track sets the tone well with drone-y industrial sounds as a backdrop to a mantra about loneliness as much as happiness. "We Love You To Death" won't cheer you up a whole lot more but it is a beautiful song with an acoustic accompaniment and swirling organ as well.

The good thing about this album is there is plenty of variety in the arrangements, particularly in terms of instrumentation. Piano might feature on one track, guitar on another and so on with plenty of quirks along the way. It would seem someone has lavished plenty of attention on this album in order to create a piece of art.

"Dark Princess, Dark Prince" thunders along with a male choir backing and "Birds Of The Night" is a fascinating duet set to piano and I shall leave it at that, rather than quote lyrics verbatim. "For A Loner" and "A Certain Glow" are more traditional (melancholic still) indie as is "Collapse/Collapsing".

The album finishes with the only song sung in German "Hierhin Kommt Der Teufel" which is deep and breathy and feels old like the 1930's even though I don't know what the subject matter is. All in all this is a great album and it would be a shame for it to slip under the radar as there may not be another one like it, this year at any rate.
  author: Leo Newbiggin

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SOMMER, STELLA - 13 Kinds Of Happiness