Tacheles reden is a German saying which means that you have a very straight and honest discussion, expressing your clear opinion. Not trying to find gentle wording to avoid that you hurt someone. Tacheles is the title of the second major German lyrics release by Sarah Straub. Call these seven songs an EP or a short album – with a playtime of more than thirty minutes, it is definitely longer than publications some other artists sell you as a full-duration album already. The release date of Tacheles has been 16th July 2021. Here are my thoughts.
Sarah Straub – About The Artist
Sarah Straub has a quite interesting bio, which is also due to the fact that she is still working part-time as a psychologist and researches at the University of Ulm. Her home town Lauiningen in very Western Bavaria is not too far away from Ulm. She was born at that place on 1st July 1986. She learned to play several instruments like keyboard or saxophone in early year and started writing songs in early teenage years. She grew steadily as an artist. The first three Sarah Straub albums were released in English. The second one, the 2014 release Red, has likely been her breakthrough. Especially in Southern Germany, she significantly increase airplay and media presence. In 2019, she debuted with German songs. The album Alles Das Und Mehr contains re-interpretations of famous German balladeer Konstantin Wecker. They regularly do shows together.
Sarah Straub – Tacheles – Track by Track
The seven track EP lasts thirty minutes.
1. Vergiss nicht zu lächeln
The seven tracks open with Vergiss nicht zu lächeln – “Don’t forget to smile”. A beautiful track with nice acoustic guitar and piano as the key melodic elements. Feels a bit like a bolstering and motivating song to a child.
Vergiss nicht zu lächeln wenn du fällst
Halt den Kopf über Wasser und atme
Vergiss nicht zu lächeln wenn du fällst
Du weißt ganz genau was dich am Leben hält
(“Don’t forget to smile if you fall
Keep your head above the water and breathe
Don’t forgt to smile when if you fall
You exactly know what keeps you alive”)
2. Lass es raus
The second song has much more energy. Lass es raus (“Let it go”) is a song about being unhappily in love as Prince Charming is not really valuing her love. The chorus finishes with Denn eigentlich bist Du eine ganz arme Sau – “Actually, you are a pretty poor sod”. A very strong song with a catchy melody. One of my favorites on Tacheles.
Weltenlauf (something like “Way of the World”) is a bit more chanson-alike, as it has a beautifull swaying melody. The song is again about unlucky love, also about being cheated. Very good listen.
4. Da bist nur du
Straub’s voice in this song even has a touch of whispering, the atmosphere of the track is rather dark at the beginning – but for the chorus, she is using crystal-clear singing. A beautiful way to express contrasting feelings in this song.
Dramatically, this ballad is the climax of the small album. I feel the track is excellent songwriting. Just an example of one of the verses:
Heut ist dein Hochzeitstag, du siehst die Bilder an der Wand
Verblasst von der Zeit, so wie euer Leben, und das was euch verband
Du lebst mit einem Fremden, dessen Seele tief verborgen
in ihm selbst und die Hoffnung sie stirbt heut und auch Morgen
(“Today is your wedding day, you look at the pictures at the wall
Fading over time, like your life and what connected you
You live with a stranger, his soul is deeply hidden
in himself and the hope is dying today and tomorrow”)
The chorus is breathtaking as well. Great emotional track.
6. Wir gehören zusammen
After a couple of songs about unlucky love, this song is more optimistic and states Wir gehören zusammen – “We belong together”. Structurally, however, it is very close to Da bist nur Du. Not that innovative, but a good listen.
7. Die Tage grau (feat. Konstantin Wecker)
The final track, Die Tage grau (“The days are grey”) links to Straub’s previous album Alles das und mehr. The remastered version, however, has not been part of the album. I like the collaboration as such – but on the other hand, I have to say that this track feels like a stranger on this album – the 6:23 minute with the very classical arrangement and the powerful voices of Wecker and Straub just don’t link too much to the kind of pop-ish singer-songwriter style of the songs before.
Sarah Straub – Tacheles – Spotify
Here is Tacheles on Spotify:
Sarah Straub – Tacheles – My View
Despite Tacheles is just a seven track collection, I felt to listen to three sections of a publication. The first five songs – and by that: the vast majority – absolutely impressed me. Great songs, great lyrics, great way of telling stories. These songs felt like bringing Tacheles straight into really high ratings. Then, there was Wir gehören zusammen, which was a bit more positive in its message, but overall did not add too much to this thrilling and versatile collection of the first five songs. Finally, the small album closes with the duet, which is really good, but just does not fit into the other songs. Thus, there is five times fascination, following by slight disappointment and feeling disturbed. Just enough to keep these seven tracks in the Top Pick! zone.
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