In December 2019, I praised the album 2084 by the Pete Wolf Band. The artist behind that project is Wolfgang Petry, one of the most successful schlager and schlager rock artists in Germany. Before he retired, he easily sold out Germany’s largest stadiums with his entertaining down-to-Earth shows. After Petry had retired and did side projects like his English-singing folk-country Pete Wolf Band, he is back in the record stores since 24th September 2021 – with a new German album. Here are my thoughts about Auf das Leben.
Wolfgang Petry – About The Artist
I gave you quite some bio about Wolfgang Petry – or Franz Hubert Wolfgang Remling, which is the civil name of the Cologne-born artist – in the 2084 review. Thus, I refer you to that review. ou can feel the popularity of Wolfgang Petry in Germany and neighbor countries that there is a dedicated musical, Wahnsinn, based on his greatest hits. Auf das Leben is the third Wolfgang Petry album after his hiatus, after Brandneu (2015) and Genau jetzt! (2018).
Wolfgang Petry – Auf das Leben – Track by Track
The 16 track album lasts 60 minutes.
Kämpfer (“Fighter”) was the first song, which raised appetite for Auf das Leben among the Wolfgang Petry fans. The track feels a bit more schlager-esque and less rocking than “Wolle Petry”‘s big songs. This just leaves a bit of the feeling that the song is a bit of thin – though I guess that it might be a lot of fun in case he also decides to go back on stage.
One of the key features of the album is that it comes with so many different sounds. While the opening track was very schlager-alike, Rattenscharf (sorry, cannot translate that word… Something like “really great”) comes with brass sounds and creates a really cool groove. The song is a message to his fans about his motivation today – with some looking back to his career. Ich hab noch immer Bock – “I am still motivated”. Cool song.
3. Sinn des Lebens
The third track is about the “Sense of Life”. The song could have been on one of Petry’s most successful albums. Maybe not a single release, but Sinn des Lebens definitely gives you this comfortable Petry feeling again.
4. Ich heiß Freiheit
To me, the second single release is one of the best songs of the album. Not only, because it has a country-Americana touch – the lyrics are really cool. Petry meets the personalized freedom in this song. Cool.
Adler means “Eagle” – the song is a beautiful ballad with a schlager, but also a rock touch. Could have even been a great song on a Pete Wolf Band. Fantastic lyrics, great atmosphere.
Der Adler schreit heut zum letzten Mal Mit großem Stolz, er weiß sein Ende naht Der Adler schweigt und das für alle Zeit Denn er ist jetzt endlich, endlich befreit Hörst Du den Donner? Ein Adler fliegt heim. Er wird dort landen.
“Today, the eagle screams for the last time
With great pride, he knows, the end is coming soon
The eagle is silencing, for now and forever
Because he is finally, finally free
Do you hear the thunder? The eagle is flying home.
He will land there.”
6. Auf dein Leben
The powerful riffs at the beginning of the song already tells you: after this deep moment, there is rock and party. The title track is praising life, the happy moments. If you are looking for a high-quality track as Petry used to write them before his hiatus – that’s a good choice.
7. Eine Sekunde
Eine Sekunde (“One second”) is another slow track. A track about love, about breaking – a moment which changed life dramatically. Maybe a bit too soppy at the end of the track.
8. Liebe ist geil
Geil is one of these words you can hardly translate to English. Literally, it means “horny”, but overall, Liebe ist geil means something like “Love is great”. Thus, love is the topic of the song again. However, this track with summer vibes is about the good and bad things about love. Catching track.
This “Nose dive” starts with Wolfgang Petry and the piano. A song, which perfectly illustrates how much more mature Wolfgang Petry is in 2021. Lovely storytelling.
Ich stehe hoch auf einer Klippe Ein Sturzflug steht bevor Es ist der Anfang und das Ende Der Welt Ich werde niemals wieder landen Denn ich fliege jetzt mit Dir Bis zum Horizont – die Sonne berühren.
“I am standing high on a cliff
The nose dive is about to come soon
It is beginning and the end of the world
Ich will never ever land again
‘Cause I am flying with you now
To the horizont – touching the sun”
10. Von vorne
Hammering riffs, quick, spoken word lyrics – Von vorne surprised me with an absolutely different sound compared to the nine songs before. A song with a lot of power, which is contrasting with some easy, almost cheeky moments. Love it!
11. Geboren für den Augenblick
While the lyrics could have been on one of Petry’s early albums, this song (“Born for the Moment”) reminds me of 1980’s electro pop tracks on the one hand – on the other, the electric guitars have quite some presence as well. Not my favorite song – but not a bad one at all.
Bestimmung is almost an a-capella song with just a bit of bass and choir-alike backing vocals. Luckily, this does not feel too corny, but leads to a nice groove. Another very different style here.
13. Wenn die Liebe nicht mehr weiterweiß
The song is slow and very personal – not too surprising, as the song is a swear that Petry will be there for his beloved one whenever “Love does not know how to go on”. Nice!
Love is “magical” – this track is about how magic it is that a relation stays for a long time and you are still supporting each other. Nice song, which again feels very honest and deep.
15. Auf der Suche
On this fifteenth track, Wolfgang Petry is “searching”. Maybe the coolest song of the album – the lyrics are equivalent to Sinn des Lebens – but the song comes with a very different arrangement. Cool pop / rock arrangement.
16. Rattenscharf (Das längste Rauchersolo der Welt)
One of the records Wolfgang Petry broke with his music was to release one of the longest singles ever produced in the world of music. Die längste Single der Welt was a double platinum record selling mix of his greatest hits. This nine minute track, however, is really concentrating on Rattenscharf, but also is ironic about Petry as a smoker. Cool listen – as the main theme is presented in very different styles.
Wolfgang Petry – Auf das Leben – Spotify
Here is the album on Spotify:
Wolfgang Petry – Auf das Leben – My View
Wolfgang Petry is a straight person, a great songwriter, a great storyteller. It is hard to believe that one of his albums goes completely wrong. Auf das Leben is definitely a great album, which has some really great songs, but also illustrates the artist’s excellence with recordings like the double track Sinn des Lebens / Auf der Suche. Not really schlager-alike, so that pop and rock listeners will find some great moments on this 2021 recording, definitely.