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Art Garfunkel Jr. – Wie Du – Hommage an meinen Vater

Art Garfunkel Jr. - Wie Du

1.9

Rating

1.9/5

Flyctory.com Pros

  • Legendary originals
  • Great lineup of guest musicians

Flyctory.com Cons

  • Some songs are just too strongly forced into German schlager sound
  • Partially terrible "translations"

Who does not know Art Garfunkel, part of Simon & Garfunkel and their famous songs? Sometimes, you run into albums, which tell you amazing stories about an artist. One of these albums is Wie Du – Hommage an meinen Vater (“Like You – homage to my father”) by Art Garfunkel Jr., the son of this music legend. He is actually living in Germany and is re-recording songs by his father. Sometimes he is joined by his father himself – but there are also some German schlager stars who join him. I had to have a listen to this interesting project. Release date has been 29th October 2021.

 

Art Garfunkel Jr. – About The Artist

It is not too easy to find reliable bio information about James Arthur Garfunkel, which is the civil name of Art Garfunkel Jr. He is likely born on 15th December 1990 in New York City. Thus, he is some fifteen years older than is only brother, Beau. So far, Garfunkel Jr. majorly worked as a TV / show host and actor. He relocated his life to Switzerland and later to Germany. In 2001, he had his first appearance as an actor, where he played himself alongside his father and his mother Kim. As you see in the album, Garfunkel is not too bad in speaking / singing German nowadays. His grandparents are German so that he early had a relation to the country.

 

Art Garfunkel Jr. – Wie Du – Track by Track

The twelve song album lasts 43 minutes.

1. Der Condor zieht (feat. Art Garfunkel)

Der Condor zieht am Himmel seine Bahn
Und der Wind
Trägt den Ruf zu den mir
Ein wilder Klang

(“The condor is flying its lengths in the sky
And the wind
carries the shouts to me
A wild sound”)

The words above are the first verse of the first song of the album. I you haven’t guessed – it is the “Germanized” version of El Condor Pasa. Even though Garfunkel Jr. tried to play it safe and has is accompanied by his legendary father – the new version has nothing to do with the original one – apart from the melody and the featured feathered friend (and the Art Garfunkel Sr. parts, which are the original Simon & Garfunkel lyrics). I struggle with that. Let’s see what the next songs will bring.

2. Wie du (feat. Marianne Rosenberg)

For the second song of his album, Garfunkel is joined by German schlager legend Marianne Rosenberg. Melodically and harmonically, it is a cool collaboration. Again, I don’t get why you need to transform lyrics like Bright eyes burning like fire into Wie Du wollte ich leben (“I wanted to live like you”). The German schlager genre does this lyrics transformation very frequently – but especially due to the family connection between the original and the current artist, I just cannot relate to it.

3. Der Boxer (feat. Lucas Cordalis)

Garfunkel and Lucas Cordalis (who is a pretty solid music artist, but his father has been a really huge name in the German music scene) do The Boxer together. I feel the song is definitely better than the two ones before – but that’s likely still not enough.

4. Cecilia (feat. Ross Antony)

Re-recording might not always be bad – like you see at Cecilia, which Garfunkel recorded with the lovely Ross Antony. Antony is the driving part in this summer vibe song, which is leading to a quite good listen.

5. Geh mit mir durch den Regenbogen (feat. Art Garfunkel & Eloy de Jong)

For the cover of Bridge Over Troubled Water, the lineup of the 2021 is triple artist trouble: Garfunkel Jr. Garfunkel Sr and Eloy de Jong, who is quite well-known in the German music scene. The roles are split like in the opening track: whenever Art Garfunkel Sr. is at the microphone, they use English lyrics. Honestly, I like it much more then – also just because I don’t know how somebody can walk through a rainbow, which is the translation of the new German title.

6. Du sollst die Tränen niemals sehn (feat. Bernhard Brink)

Art Garfunkel Sr. covered this A-Ha classic in 1990 – now his version is handled by his son and schlager big name Bernhard Brink. There are significant pronouncing issues on the vocal side and the strong rhythmic background feels to try to force a beautiful ballad original into the disco fox pop world of schlager. The concept is too weird that a great voice like Bernhard Brink can finally safe it.

7. Scarborough Fair (feat. Rene Kollo)

While most of the guest musicians on this album are schlager or at least pop singers, Rene Kollo is well known as an opera singer. This actually leads to a very intense, accentuated interpretation of the original, which does work rather well. One of the best songs of this album on the musical side, the melancholic lyrics are maybe a bit too much.

8. Mrs. Robinson (feat. Olaf der Flipper)

The collaboration of Olaf der Flipper and Garfunkel Jr. surprisingly has a bit of a similar vibe than the original version by Simon & Garfunkel. The lyrics – no comment, here is a random section of the chorus with alternating lines:

Oh wo ist sie, Mrs. Robinson?
Diese ganz unmögliche Person
Denn ohne sie, Mrs. Robinson
Ist bei uns schon gar nichts mehr okay

(“Oh, where is she, Mrs. Robinson?
This absolutely outrageous person
Because without her, Mrs. Robinson
Is nothing okay for us any more”)

9. Schön ist der Morgen (feat. Anna-Carina Woitschack & Stefan Mross)

With a cover of Morning Has Broken, there is the second song on the album, which you rather associate with another artist but Art Garfunkel (Sr.) – but he really recorded this 1971 Cat Stevens classic (the original is in fact four decades older) with Diana Krall in 1997. The result is a 3:15 minutes soppy arrangement.

10. Wieder daheim (feat. Frank Schöbel)

Alongside East German schlager legend Frank Schöbel, Homeward Bound turns into a schlager summer hit with a touch of reggae. I am already counting down the song until I finally survived the album, so that I almost missed to say that this version feels somehow relatable.

11. Ich leb allein auf einer Insel

No guest musicians here – thus this song (cover of I Am A Rock) straightly shows that Art Garfunkel Jr.’s abilities are too limited to record an album like this. Apart from that, I am still asking myself why his father’s world hits needs to be forced into the genre of schlager.

12. Raum des Schweigens (feat. Art Garfunkel)

One big hit is still missing – for The Sound of Silence (which is, literally translated, now the “Room of Silence”) big daddy had to return to the studio. The English language parts are actually really cool. And then, there are the transformed ones (“translation” would really be the wrong wording). The album is closing with low point of lyrics in my point of view:

Und in den Brunnen fällt ein Stein
Wann wird er jemals unten sein
Unser Leben ist ein fremdes Tier
Manche fragen sich “Was soll ich hier”
Denn das Glück hat für viele wenig Zeit
Endlos weit
Das ist der Raum des Schweigens.

(“And a stone falls into the well
When will he ever be at the ground
Our life is an alien animal
Some ask themselves “What am I doing here?”
Because the luck just has little time for so many
Endlessly wide
This is the room of silence”)

 

Art Garfunkel Jr. – Wie Du – Spotify

Here is the album on Spotify:

 

Art Garfunkel Jr. – Wie Du – My View

There is so much which feels that Wie Du has to be a great one: First of all, of course, there are the original songs. Aren’t all of them great tracks of our past? The name Art Garfunkel (even with the “Jr.” as a suffix) just too strongly feels like musical quality (even his mother has been a really good singer, by the way). And even if you dare to feel before listening to the album that it could become a fail, there are so many great (German) music artists.

That’s the list of positives. The album is a fail to me. If the team around Art Garfunkel Jr. would have tried to somehow translate the messages of the originals into German, the concept might have somehow worked out. But with Wie Du, they turn fantastic tracks of music history into dumb-ish, thin schlager tracks. I am also not sure if it was a good idea to translate the songs at all. My key issue of these songs is that I have a strong relation to the originals – so this album just cannot work out to me. My wife felt that some of the tracks I hated most were rather okay – because she was born ten years later than me. That’s not the right way to praise the huge Art Garfunkel Sr. – in best case, these recordings cash in some coins for a handsaw used to cut down a Christmas tree for the Garfunkel family this year.

 

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