Nino de Angelo is one of my favorite German artists. I will definitely tell you about a very special concert of the German-Italian schlager artist soon in one of my Songs Of My Life – some of his tunes are German all-time classics. On 26th February 2021, he released a new album, Gesegnet und Verflucht (“Blessed and cursed”). I just had to share it with you.
Nino de Angelo – About The Artist
Nino de Angelo, whose civil name is Domenico Gerhard Gorgolione, is German schlager artist born on 18th December 1963 in Karlsruhe, Germany. After the divorce of his parents, he moved to Cologne with his mother. In a Cologne piano bar, his talent has been discovered, which finally lead to his first album release. The first albums were branded as Nino and had no success. A cover version of Souvenir by Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, Und ein Engel fliegt in die Nacht, was his breakthrough. Already branded as Nino de Angelo, the song has been in the German charts for twelve weeks. The corresponding album, Junges Blut (“Young Blood”) hit the German Top 10. His biggest song, Jenseits von Eden, was also in fact a cover version of Guardian Angel by Masquerade, which Germans better know as Drafi Deutscher. Nino de Angelo’s version topped the charts in Germany, Austria and Switzerland and even made it to the Top 60 in the United Kingdom. The corresponding album was also a good sale in the three German speaking markets.
After his following records had limited success, he became more popular again, when he represented Germany at the Eurovision Song Contest 1989 in Lausanne. The song Flieger just placed fourteenth out of 22 contestants, but the song went Top 20 in Germany and Austria. The same year, Nino de Angelo released another of his classic songs, Samuraj. In the 2000’s, Nino de Angelo grew popularity again and got back in the charts. His previous album, for example, Liebe für immer (“Love forever”) was Top 25 in Germany and Austria. Nino de Angelo is diagnosed of the incurable lung disease COPD.
Note: the video above shows the original Jenseits von Eden song in a re-recorded video.
Nino de Angelo – Gesegnet und Verflucht – Track by Track
The thirteen track album lasts 51 minutes.
1. Sag es meinem Herzen bitte nicht
Mein Herz darf nicht wissen wenn’s vorbei ist Erzähl mir das an einem anderen Tag Mein Herz darf nicht wissen wenn’s vorbei ist Lüg mir ins Gesicht Aber sag es meinem Herzen bitte nicht
(“My heart shall not know when it’s over
Tell it to me another day
My heart shall not know when it’s over
Lie straight to my face
But don’t tell it to my heart.”)
The album starts with this deep breakup song – which you could also interpret as a chat with the unevitable death. To me, this song was breathtaking.
2. Gesegnet und Verflucht
The title track of the album does not feel like schlager at all. It is a powerful dark rock song with impressive lyrics. If you know the German music scene, Gesegnet und Verflucht much more connects to Joachim Witt or Unheilig than to many of his previous songs. Wow, that’s an impressive one.
3. Zeit heilt keine Wunden
The third song is called Zeit heilt keine Wunden – “Time does not heal wounds”. The song has more of a pop-schlager touch in its lyrics, but the song is German rock. The bridge is connecting to his serious illness, what an impressive one:
Ich werde kämpfen bis ich sterbe Auch wenn nur für einen Augenblick Ich will nur mein Leben, mein Leben zurück Ist die Welt auch gnadenlos Ich versuche, ich versuche mein Glück
(“I will fight until I die
Even if it’s just for a moment
I just want back my life
Even though the world is merciless
I am trying, I am trying to have luck”)
The fourth song, Equilibrium, is a soft rock song. Good listen, even though it is surrounded by really strong tracks and thus has a tough time at this part of the album.
5. Angel Lost In Paradise (feat. Scarlet Dorn)
Angel Lost In Paradise is indeed a very special song of the album – it has been recorded with the Hamburg dark rock band Scarlet Dorn. While de Angelo performs in German, his guests sing English. This leads to a very special fusion sound. Love it.
6. Ich bin dein Vampir
There are these moments on Gesegnet und Verflucht on which de Angelo sounds like how his long-term fans now him: like a really strong and present schlager singer. Ich bin Dein Vampir (“I am your vampire”) is one of these tracks. Good one.
7. Romeo & Juliet
Funnily the German name of Romeo & Juliet is in fact “Romeo & Julia” – apart from that small notice, the song is a pretty straight schlager track with some nice electric guitar power and a catchy chorus:
Wie Romeo und Juliet Ans Ende jeder Zeit Ich werde bei dir sein Bis dass der Tod für immer uns vereint
(“Like Romeo and Juliet
Until the end of time
I will always be with you
Until death will always unite us”)
8. Der Panther (feat. Chris Harms)
De Angelos’s second guest on the album, Chris Harms, is also rather known for dark sounds. Harms is rather known as “The Lord” leading the German dark rock band Lord of the Lost. It is a quite harmonic and cool collaboration, but I rather go with Angel lost in paradise.
Ich schieb’ die Wolken einfach weiter Oder setz’ mich drauf wie ein Wolkenreiter Bis ich dann die Sonne wieder seh’ Meine Sonne wieder seh’
(“I simply push away the clouds
Or sit on them like a cloud rider
Until I see the sun again
I see my sun again.”)
The Sonnenkind (“Sun child”) is a schlager track with a rock touch. It is a song which is quite straight to the heart, which I really like.
A hymn to my home town – and the town Nino de Angelo is living in nowadays. Of course, you touch my heart with that beautiful song about Cologne, Germany (Colonia is in fact the Roman / Latin name of the city, but frequently used in the city’s slang). There are even two words of Kölsch (Cologne dialect) towards the end of the song.
11. Brennender Engel
In this part of Gesegnet und Verflucht, the album is back to the rocking feeling. Brennende Engel (“Burning Angels”) is a power ballad with a very nice and melodic chorus. Not bad.
12. Denn wir wissen nicht was wir tun
Denn wir wissen nicht was wir tun (“Cause we don’t know what we are doing”) partially reminds me of You Learn by Alanis Morissette. A rather deep and dark song again – but with a very intense touch. Love to listen to it.
13. Jenseits von Eden (2021)
What would be a nicer way to finish this album than with Nino de Angelo’s classic? The 2021 recording is more powerful, more rocking than the original. In the context of this album, it feels authentic.