In my younger years, the German a capella band Die Prinzen have been one of my favorite music. Their direct, cheeky, easy sound has been very popular in Germany, especially in the 1990’s, and lead to over six million records sold. Six years after their Familienalbum (“Family album”), they are back with Krone der Schöpfung (“Crown of Creation”). The album also celebrates the 30th anniversary of the band (at least since they act under that name).
Die Prinzen – About The Artists
The beginning of Die Prinzen has taken place in the Thomanerchor, a boys choir in Leipzig. The founding members of the band were active in the choir until the early 1980’s. The members are Tobias Künzeln, Sebastian Krumbiegel, Wolfgang Lenk and Henri Schmidt. The only member witthout Thomanerchor background is Jens Sembdner, who sang in the Kreuzchor of Dresden. At the beginning, there was a trio of Krumbiegel, Lenk and Dirk Schrot called Die Herzbuben, who tried to become popular in the G.D.R. The band lineup changed frequently in the first years and as there was another band called Wildecker Herzbuben, which has been very popular during that time, 1991 was the birth of Die Prinzen (“The Princes”). The band is seen as a cappella, but especially live on stage, they are typically supported by Mathias Dietrich (bass) and Alexander Ali Zieme (drums).
The band started massively. Their debut album Das Leben ist grausam had four singles in the German charts. Even though none of of them (Gabi und Klaus, Millionär, Mann im Mond and Mein Fahrrad, in the order of release) made it into the Top 20, they received a lot of attention and boosted the album to double platinum and a fifth spot in Germany and reasonable rankings in Austria and Switzerland.
Triple Gold for Küssen Verboten
The following album, Küssen verboten (1992), only contained the popular title track on the singles side, but still had a triple golden record in Germany and a single on in Switzerland. The title track of their third album Alles nur geklaut, has been their first golden record as a single and placed fourth in Germany, third in Austria. They produced two more Top 10 records, (Du musst ein) Schwein sein (1995, in Germany) and the 2001 single Deutschland, a ironic song about Germany, which was Top 10 in Austria, but not in Germany itself.
Until the early 2000’s, Die Prinzen albums had Top 20 placements. The top ranking decreased and the frequency of releases went down as well. After the 2008 Die neuen Männer followed Familienalbum in 2015. Krone der Schöpfung is the band’s twelfth studio album, but only the second one after 2008. Remarkably, since the renaming to Die Prinzen, the band plays in the same lineup.
Die Prinzen – Krone der Schöpfung – Track by Track
The 17 track album lasts 52 minutes. Most of the songs are new, but there are some 2021 re-recording of famous Die Prinzen songs.
1. Dürfen darf man alles
Darf man Frauen überhaupt noch Komplimente machen?
Darf man das? Darf man das?
Oder über nicht korrekte Witze lachen?
Darf man, darf man das?
(“Are you allowed to say compliments to ladies?
Are you allowed to do that? Are you allowed to that?
Or laugh about [politically] incorrect jokes?
Are you, are you allowed to do that?”)
The opener of the album has been released before this full release. A song which takes an ironic view on political correctness and how morale and demand on social behavior changed during the last years. A song, which reminds me of old Prinzen songs.
The second song deals with all the possibilities and options you nowadays have in life. The songs, which translates roughly to “Difficulties about deciding”, will again feel familiar and good to 1990’s Prinzen fans.
3. Dumme Ideen
Dumme Ideen sind noch immer die besten – “Silly ideas are still the best” describes thinking about doing staff you just feel like to do – even if there are some heavier consequences. A song, which comes with a typical Prinzen groove, but then changes from a very rhythmic song to a melodic chorus.
4. Das Schicksal ist manchmal ‘ne Drecksau
This song roughly translates to Fate is sometimes a bastard. It is about an unlucky love story – and a perfect example of the songs of Krone der Schöpfung:
Gabi wollte wie jeden Tag
Ganz normal zur Arbeit fahr’n
Da stieg ihre große Liebe ein
Aber in die andere Bahn
Sie spürte genau ihr Lebensglück
ist dieser Fremde dort
Da gingen auch schon die Türen zu
und der Zug fuhr einfach fort.
(“Gabi wanted as every day
Just go to work as normal
Then her Prince Charming boarded
But in a different train
She definitely felt that her luck of life
Is that stranger over there
That’s when the doors already closed
and the train just went away”)
The song is full of ironic and humorous stories and surprises. Furthermore, the song is a reference to their former song Gabi und Klaus. Their fans will love songs like that – and I definitely enjoy them as well.
5. Alles nur geklaut 2021 (feat. Deine Freunde)
I have of course been very curious about the re-recordings of Die Prinzen classics. The first one, which has been supported by the band Deine Freunde, who do pop and hip hop songs majorly aiming for young listeners. Alles nur geklaut 2021 starts very close to the original. It just comes with a stronger groove. Deine Freunde have their hip hop part, which add some flavor to the song.
6. Geliebte Zukunft
Geliebte Zukunft means “beloved future”. A song which is praising fate and all what lies ahead. Nice rhythmic, but also very melodic track. One of my favorites on the album – so that I agree to the decision to pick this track as a single release.
7. Küssen verboten 2021 (feat. Jennifer Weist)
While I had some struggle to really enjoy the new version of Alles nur geklaut, I like this re-recording much more. For this song, Die Prinzen are working with Jennifer Weist, the former lead singer of the very popular German act Jennifer Rostock. I like the vocal harmony between the male voice and Weist, the song has an more modern, a touch of electronic touch.
8. Das sind wir
While Geliebte Zukunft was rather a look forward, this song is describing the band as of today. Nonetheless, the band also states So schnell werdet ihr uns nicht los – “you are not getting rid of us that quickly”. If the songs keep staying melodic and catching, I am looking forward to the next thirty years of band history, for sure.
9. Krone der Schöpfung
Eight songs done, eight to go – the title track of the album is right in the center of the 17 tracks album. The track with its great drum set but also powerful vocal background rhythmic tracks feels like a song for the dancefloor. It is a matter of taste which song you like most – but this is a really cool recording to me. Very catching chorus as well.
10. Millionär 2021
For the 2021 version of Millionär, the band paired up with two artist, who very often deal with poor and rich, with privileges, in their songs: Eco Fresh and Mo Trip are two German rappers. The song feels modern and has a nice groove – but I have to say that it feels hard for me to accept this style in Die Prinzen songs.
Ist es denn so schwer, einfach mal leicht zu sein?
Ist es denn so hart, einfach mal weich zu sein
Wir stopfen unser Leben voll mit Zeug das uns was geben soll
Ich glaube wer nichts braucht ist wirklich reich – nimm’s mal wieder leicht!
(“Is it that heavy to be simply light again
Is it that hard to be simply soft again
We fill our lives with things which shall give us something back
I feel that the one who does not need anything is really rich – take it easy again”)
A cool song in which Tobias Künzel is the lead vocalist. The track admires people who don’t take care about all problems and just take life easy. Cool song!
12. Gabi und Klaus 2021 (feat. Mine)
In collaboration with German singer-songwriter and producer Mine, Die Prinzen turn their first big song into an electro-pop song with very majestic elements, acoustic guitars. To me, that version is a bit of confusing.
13. Männer machen alles kaputt
The wide range of Die Prinzen songs is really fascinating. This song (“Men destroy everything”) feels like soft rock with folk touch. However, the song later also deals with female beings. Nice track.
14. (Du musst) Ein Schwein sein 2021 (feat. Die Doofen)
This collaboration with Die Doofen, who had a 1990’s hit with the funny song Mief (about body odor) in Germany, do the best collaboration and re-recording in this album in my point of view. Cool rhythm, which has a bit of the drive of a polka song. Cool listen.
15. Wo die Liebe hinfällt
Another Tobias Künzel lead lyrics – and the song is just amazing. A song about tolerating love of any kind, no matter if people feel “strange” to you. Cool groove.
16. Der Mann im Mond ist ein Mädchen
The second last song is not a re-recording, but the song is definitely a reference to Der Mann im Mond, one of the most famous songs of the band. Tobias Künzel watches the moon and feels that he is smiling down to him.
17. Immer auf mich zählen (Alpaka Song)
The “Alpaca song” is definitely a topic which has been missing. In fact the final song of the album is a beautiful love song with piano backing sounds. The furry animals are by the way occurring in a way that Krumbiegel states that he would go anywhere with his love and breed alpaca. A plushy way to say “I love you” 🙂
Die Prinzen – Krone der Schöpfung – Spotify
Here is the Die Prinzen anniversary album on Spotify:
Die Prinzen – Krone der Schöpfung – My View
As I haven’t followed the latest Die Prinzen albums that much, I have been curious about their 2021 album, but did not have that high expectations. I have to say that I at least struggle with three of the re-recordings. The songs do give the character of an anniversary album, but I just do not agree with the new versions. The remaining songs are really good and have a lot of classic touch of the band. There is a lot of humor and irony, powerful vocal performances, but also catchy pop tunes. Not the best album of the band, but a lot of nice stuff. Fans will definitely love the collection of tracks!
German Artists in 2021