X-Perience - 555
Fourteen years after their latest album, the German project X-Perience is releasing a new album. The fifth long-play release of the trio is simply called 555. Another way to explain this formula: five old songs, re-recorded, five covers, five new originals. Here are my thoughts on the new tracks are re-recordings.
X-Perience – About The Artists
X-Perience is a German synthie-pop / Eurodance project. Today, they are performing in their original setup, keyboard player Matthias Uhle, singer Claudia Uhle and bass / keyboard player Alexander Kaiser. Matthias and Claudia are siblings. Their initial single was Circle of Love, which has been released in March 1996. Based on that, they gained some popularity in the Berlin area and were able to produce more songs. Their second single, A Neverending Dream, was quite huge in Germany, winning a Gold record and peaking fourth in the German charts. The song also entered the Top 10 in Switzerland.
The corresponding album Magic Fields has been released later in 1996. The album made it up to the 22nd spot in the charts – the same spot which their second album Take Me Home took. There were a couple of singles which had reasonable chart placement. X-Perience released their fourth and last album, Lost in Paradise in 2006. The German album chart peak position is 76th. Claudia Uhle left the band thereafter and was replaced by Manja Kaletka. X-Perience released some songs, but no more album. Claudia Uhle returned to the band in 2019 and recorded the songs for 555.
X-Perience – 555 – Track by Track
The 15 track album lasts 57 minutes. There is also a 2CD Deluxe version with ten additional tracks (mainly karaoke versions and remixes) with a total playing time of 1:35 hours.
1. Don’t You Forget
The album stats with Don’t You Forget. A new song – X-Perience definitely still sounds like at the peak of their career, in the late 1990’s. Somehow a happy sounds with a X-Perience-traditional touch… Not too bad to start 555 with.
2. I Feel Like You 555
I feel like you’re watching me
you fill my diary
kill my privacy
I feel like you’re haunting me
it starts a misery
love you endlessly
I Feel Like You 555 is reads like some sort of title track, but the number 555 in fact never pops up in the lyrics. The aim of X-Perience is not to create complex stories, it is easy listening synthie-pop music which makes you smile and feels like dancing. I Have to say that after the first some, which gave me a happy “Hey, X-Perience are back” smile in my face, I Feel Like You 555 cannot fully connect to it.
The first of the covers – and X-Perience dare to try out a big name in the business: Claudia Uhle does a massive vocal job here covering Everytime by Britney Spears. One of the tracks you should definitely dare to give a listen.
4. Dream A Dream
The third new song after four tracks already – and the dark sound of Dream A Dream, which feels a bit to me like Evanescence changed their instruments to a bunch of electronic music toys is indeed a cool track. Nice.
5. Magic Fields (555 Version)
The first re-recording of classic X-Perience tracks – or 555 version, how they are called on the album. The version is comparably close to the original, just a bit faster and more rhythmic. Magic Fields was my favorite by the band in the 1990’s, I prefer the old-fashioned style here.
6. Toy Soldiers
Cover Number Two: Quite a classic song this time, the band are heading towards the Toy Soldiers originally performed by Markita in 1988. Especially in the verses, X-Perience do their own thing and give a nice re-interpretation – the more I am a bit disappointed that the chorus is very close to the original.
7. Never Look Back
Never Look Back is most closely connects to X-Perience’s hits in the 1990’s. A very catchy composition, well done.
8. A Neverending Dream (555 Version)
For the 2020 version of their biggest hit, X-Perience more or less uses the same ingredients like for the Magic Fields re-recording: a bit more ryhthm, a touch of speed, an altered interlude. Overall: waste of time. Just take it as a statement that they can still perform this one – which is pretty useless, as the new originals are partially having the 90’s sound touch anyway.
9. When Do I Get To Sing ‘My Way‘
A cover of the famous track by The Sparks. I have to admit that I don’t like that cover at all. Too thin to me. The other covers feel to add more X-Perience character to me.
10. Here Comes The Sun
This is not a Beatles cover, but a new X-Perience track. It creates a lot of atmosphere, which makes it impressive. Not a superb track, but solid.
11. Island Of Dreams (555 Version)
The 555 version of Island of Dreams is maybe the strongest change of a song, compared to the original. Not too bad.
12. Smalltown Boy
The fourth cover on the album: Bronski Beat. Another 1980’s classic. This time, the whole song has undergone an X-Perience re-modelling. Fans will like that one, I guess. I struggle with the selection of the song. Not sure, if that one has been the wisest choice.
13. Cruisin’ Wild
Fans know Cruisin’ Wild quite likely, as this song has been a demo in 2013 already. However, this is the first time the song makes it to an album. The track is indeed a nice sound.
14. Circles Of Love (555 version)
Again, the changes done in the 555 version compared to the original are rather small. However, I feel that this kind of modernizing had its best impact on Circles of Love.
15. Only You (2020 xp Radio Edit)
Okay, I give in. My thoughts during the first tunes of this song were close to the F-word. But the more I listened to the Alison Moyet cover closing this album, the more I liked it. Nice finish.
X-Perience – 555 – Spotify
Here is the Spotify widget for 555:
X-Perience – 555 – My View
555 comes with some messages to the music world. The first one – and the likely most important one – is “We’re not dead”. Good that the band is again relying on the Uhle siblings – the classic sound is just nice. This leads to the second one: “We still can do it”. The 555 versions may be a bit too thin and don’t lead to revolutions compared to the original tracks, but at least they connect to the glorious times. Finally, there is a message like “We even have some new songs”. Some of them might be good, some of them are not. But 555 creates a basis for a new stage of the X-Perience history. And that’s likely what the album is majorly about.
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