Wolfgang Petry is back: just about one and a half years after Auf das Leben and half a year after Crosswalk to Nowhere with his alter ego Pete Wolf, the schlager artist is back in the record stores. On 3rd March 2023, he is releasing Stark wie wir, which is again facing towards schlager and not in the country-Americana direction. I had a listen.
Wolfgang Petry – About The Artist
The Cologne-born Wolfgang Petry (civil name: Franz Hubert Wolfgang Remling) is one of the most successful schlager artists of all time. With his straight, slightly rocking sounds, he espcially dominated the genre in the late 1990’s and early 200’s. After a hiatus from the 2000’s, he came back some ten years later – as Wolfgang Petry as well as Pete Wolf / Pete Wolf Band. Under the name Wolfgang Petry, he overall had 14 golden and 13 platinum records in Germany.
Wolfgang Petry – Stark Wie Wir – Track by Track
The twelve song album lasts 41 minutes.
1. Du gehörst zu mir und ich gehör zu dir
The most special about this song (which translates to “You belong to me and I belong to you”). Wolfgang Petry is showing his wife Rosemarie for the very first time in a video. This was special as the couple recently had their 50th wedding anniversary. The song has a typical Petry texture, but overall does not have the energy of previous releases.
Stark (“Strong”) is the song which is separating the two single releases so far. The title track (which is having the full phrase Stark wie wir in the chorus) is having a rather strong guitar presence. Again, I miss a this little bit of Petry magic in the song.
3. Gib mein Herz zurück
After I had some struggle with the first two songs, the third track Gib mein Herz zurück is a typical Petry track. The song feels powerful and energetic, but also comes with emotional lyrics. A nice blend of schlager with sprinkles of pop and rock.
4. So geht Leben
Good times and bad times – but finally, Wolfgang Petry states So geht Leben – “That’s how life is working out” and Ich bin genau da, wo ich hin will (“I am exactly where I want to be”). A cool pop track which praises living your life just as you want to do.
5. Ein kleines Stück
Nur ein kleines Stück
Von dieser Welt
Ein großes Glück
Für uns bestellt
Für alle Zeit
(“Just a small piece
Of this world
Very much good luck
Just for uns
Deep in our memories
For all time”)
The love of Wolfgang Petry and his wife is the key topic of this album. In this track, he is looking back to their wedding. Very schlager-alike song, enjoyable listen.
6. So wie du bei mir bist
Right in the middle of the album, Petry has recorded a beautiful piano ballad. The song is a love letter to his wife and feels beautiful, loving and romantic without being kitsch. Really nice one.
7. Bist du bereit
Es war 1970 und Freddy Quinn war Nummer Eins (“It was 1970 and Freddy Quinn war on the top of the charts”). The seventh song starts with the very beginning of Petry’s love, but on the other hand already looks to what lies ahead (Bis nach oben ist’s bestimmt nicht so weit, bist Du bereit? – “It’s not that far until we are up there, are you ready?”). A song about eternal love or like Petry states Da wo die Sonne scheint, werden wir uns wiedersehen – “We will meet again, where the sun is shining”. Lovely write, the song has a touch of electro-pop.
8. Ich klau für dich
The eighth song surprises with brass instruments and a cool groove. Even though I cannot support Ich klau für Dich den Kölner Dom (“I steal Cologne Cathedral for you”) morally, the song has a really cool touch.
9. Ebbe und Flut
Even though I enjoyed the predecessors more, Ebbe und Flut (“Low and High Tide”) is a nice schlager-rock track with a nice drive. And, of course, with Wolfgang Petry’s signature voice. Good one.
Warum müssen Kriege sein?
Und warum kommen manche nicht mehr heim?
Warum fliegen wir zum Mond?
Und warum bitten Kranke um den sanften Tod?
(“Why needs to be there war?
And why do some not come home any more?
Why are we flying to the moon?
And why to sick ask for the gentle death?”)
The very rocking song is a struggle between the way we treat life on this planet and hope for a better future. Great write by Petry.
11. Beinah da
Petry goes punk… Blues rock… I just cannot describe this song sufficiently with words. It feels like party, it is groovy, but it also has some quiet moments. Would love to see this one as a live performance – but Petry is not touring any more. That’s the only sad feeling about this song. It feels so suprising in the context of Stark wie wir – I love it!
12. Der Letzte macht das Licht aus
“The last one is turning off the lights” is a song about a long party night at first sight, but is finally a much deeper thought about life. A slow farewell track with a nice guitar presence and scattered keyboard presence. The song feels like the perfect finale for this album. .
Wolfgang Petry – Stark Wie Wir – Spotify
Here is the album on Spotify:
Wolfgang Petry – Stark Wie Wir – My View
Thank you, Wolfgang Petry. I initially struggled with the album and after the first songs, I was not sure if this recording will lead my to a happy ending aka good rating. But especially the second half of Stark Wie Wir is full of hidden gems and thus completes a wide range of songs. “Wolle” made me smile another time.
Wolfgang Petry on Flyctory
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