Even though there are also some examples in the rock industry as well, boy bands are typically a pop music phenomenon. Not too surprisingly that the most German-alike pop genre schlager is also featuring some boy bands. One of them is Zeitflug, a trio, which is at least promising to be both, a bunch of good singers, as well as a trio of good-looking man. I concentrate on the musical review of the Echte Freunde (“True Friends”) album, which has been released on 29th July 2022.
Zeitflug – About The Artists
Zeitflug is a German schlager pop trio. All three artists have a certain background as solo artist, including good performances in TV talent shows. Dominic Fischer has been the latest addition to the project. He had a decent performance at Deutschland sucht den Superstar, the German version of American Idol. Furthermore, he has been Mr. Bavaria (the German state he has been living in) in 2013. The second member, Martin Madeja, was a Top 7 contestant of the German X-Factor show. Deniz Fingskes has a background as musical actor and has even part of productions like Phantom of the Opera. Zeitflug started to publish music in 2018. Their first single was Karussell. The most well known songs of the trio have likely been two cover versions, though. In 2020, they released Tausendmal Du (original by Münchener Freiheit), one year later, they released Nino de Angelo’s classic Jenseits von Eden. Echte Freunde is Zeitflug’s debut album.
Zeitflug – Echte Freunde – Track by Track
The 23 track album lasts 68 minutes. Three tracks are short interludes, seven songs have been released before the album already (at least, that’s all songs I found).
1. Interlude – Sieger
Interlude? Zeitflug feel to be very optimistic that people listen to their album in a loop and come back here after the very last song. I would rather call it “intro” or “prologue” – but
After these 35 second of dedicated introduction, there is some pressure on Sieger (translation: “Winner”) to deliver a good one. The song is a classic schlager-pop song. The sound of Zeitflug is frequently having a 1980’s touch. The song could have been a successful one in that decade as well. Three guys, some synth, some rhythm, a catchy listen… The style of singing is a bit too plushy for me though.
The 2:42 minute track Sommerwind (“Summer Wind”) is neither a warm summer storm nor a gentle breeze. The song is enjoyable without being too special
Zucker (“Sugar”) is the first song of the album, which has in fact been released as a single already. Summer vibes, almost spoken word verses. The rhymes feel too much like being forced by the authors, the song is a bit too kitschy. And the lyrics? Nah – maybe you think differently about the chorus. Hope they at leased raised some funds with the product placements 😉
Du bist wie Zucker, Zucker, Baby
Wie Coke in meinem Bacardi
SOS, ich verlier den Verstand
Du bist wie Zucker, Zucker, Baby
Perfekt wie Ken und Barbie
TNT, mit dir bin ich so high.
(“You are like sugar, sugar, baby,
Like Coke in my Bacardi
SOS, I go insane
You are like sugar, sugar, baby
Perfect like Ken and Barbie
T.N.T., I am that high with you”)
5. Unsere Liebe war nie echt
Stronger bass, synth/keyboard tunes in the chorus – I wonder if the target audience of these three guys are really the people who loved this style of music some decades ago. On the hand, I want to dislike songs like Unsere Liebe war die echt – on the other hand, they make me smile and move to the rhythm. And that’s what pop is all about. These young men feel to touch my 1980’s heart somehow.
This one has been the debut single release of the trio. Not too bad – and not that over-emotional as other songs on the album.
7. Die 2. Chance
Zeitflug are asking for “The second chance” in the first ballad-alike song of the album. The rhythm starting with the chorus takes away a bit of the personal style. The song beautifully illustrates the three-pillar vocal talent of this band. If you stand the emotions aka kitsch, it is a really nice listen.
With 23 tracks in your debut album, Zeitflug is definitely close to Unendlichkeit – “Infinity” – already. Unfortunately, the lyrics of this song also feel to have a certain infinity of shallowness. The chorus stating “I want to have infinity with you” is about bearable, the synth pop verses are just too much for me. Here is an example:
Auf zur nächsten Station
So viel Sehnsucht
Jetzt gelingt mir die Flucht
My vision of life
Heading to the next station
Too much desire
Now, I succeed in fleeing”)
9. Wann fängst Du an
The lyrics of this song feels like a series of German phrases. Nonetheless, Wann fängst Du an is a much better listen than the song before. Very traditional schlager tunes with a pop touch.
The song deals with being jealous of the boyfriend of your (female) friend. “I am just your best friend” and “It is so hard to see you with him” are the key phrases of the song. While the lyrics of the chorus are actually quite nice, I again struggle with the verses.
11. Hitze in der Nacht
“You are the heat in the Night” is the translation of the eleventh song title. The track has some Latin American groove, which even boosts the dance-pop character. The rhythm and groove and definitely the key elements of the song and even move the three vocalists into the background a bit. Nonetheless, one of the most fascinating listens of the album.
12. Hey Bonita (Spanish version)
Hey Bonita has been a single release in German for Zeitflug already – for Echte Freunde, they do the song in Spanish. I like to listen to Zeitflug songs in a language I don’t understand too well. The song feels like summer and fun – just what I like to listen to in late July.
13. Lichtermeer der Stadt
The song reminds me of some Neue Deutsche Welle songs (the typical German pop style of the early 1980’s). However, the song moves more towards and ordinary electro pop schlager song. Lichtermeet der Stadt is one of the hidden gems of this release to me. A bit too much ooh-ooh and falsetto, maybe. But the trio makes me smile during these 3:12 minutes.
14. Mitten in der Nacht (80s remix)
Another track, which has already been a Zeitflug single. However, the song comes in a remix version in here. I would have preferred the original version in here – the trio feels like doing 1980’s music anyway. And this remix pushes that golden era’s style just a bit too much for me.
At the beginning of this 3:11 minute song, I felt that the song is rather a fail. But the more I listen to it, the more I enjoy it. I won’t put my thoughts on some of the lyrics on repeat in this review. However, what I like most about this song is the nice focus on the three voices. And Nie (“Never”) has a nice vibe, indeed.
16. Ich gebe auf Dich acht
I feel that this song (“I take care of you”) has a lot of potential. Not sure if this one would be a much better one if they arranged it as a pop track and reduced the schlager level to a minimum. Still, a nice listen.
17. Im Bett von deinen Eltern
Es war im Bett von deinen Eltern
Die warn zum Glück ein wenig spät dran
Oh man war ich in Dich verliebt
Glaub mir Babe das vergess ich nie
(“It has been in the bed of your parents,
who here a bit of late luckily.
Damn, I was so much in love with you
Believe in me, babe, I will never forget that”)
Uuuh, that single release qualifies for the square with the “E” inside, indeed. Apart from the explicit description of physical romance, the song is also one of the best listens of the album. Hopefully, the girl is agreeing to the dreams described in the lyrics. One of them, for example, is having four to five kids. During the song, the song takes a nice change of time and perspective as well (telling the same story to your kids later), which I feel is a really nice feature as well.
18. Wenn ich nachts von Dir träume
Not a single release like the previous bedtime story, but Wenn ich nachts von Dir träume (“When I dream of you in the night”) is one of my favorite listens of the album. Straight, rhythmic schlager track.
19. Interlude – Sie will fliehn
45 seconds, interlude to the next song. Nothing special. This time, it is an interlude at your very first album listen as well.
20. Sie will fliehn
Apart from another interlude, the album closes with three previous single releases. Sie will fliehn thereby is the purest ballad of the album. Piano, strings and just some decent other instruments – apart from that, the song is focusing on the vocals. A song about a refugee, which is definitely one of the most intense and most intimate listens of Echte Freunde. Great one.
Track #21 comes with a lot of electronic beats, dance, but also a bit of a rocking and energetic style. Thus, Purpurrot delivers a very special touch of songs.
22. Interlude – Echte Freunde
Interlude, the last one. 37 seconds.
23. Echte Freunde
Luckily, the did not cover one of the biggest Cologne Carnival song classics in here. The title track is closing the debut album. The song is absolutely in line with the sound of the album, the track is one of the best listens as well. Summed up: Zeitflug close their debut long-play in style.
Zeitflug – Echte Freunde – Spotify
Here is the album on Spotify:
Zeitflug – Echte Freunde – My View
There are some ups and downs in this album. The three artists definitely come with a lot of talent and potential. Sometimes, I wished they moved closer to pop and don’t good too deep into the land of kitsch. Another reason for this: I can hardly bear some of the lyrics, they are just too stereotype and too simple, too made up. Overall, Zeitflug still give their fans a really good value with these twenty tracks and three interludes.
German Schlager in 2022