The artist name Sebel is a short form for the civil name of the artist, Sebastian Niehoff. He is a quite well known musician, multi-instrumentalist and producer. Despite the German artist is working with several bands, he is also releasing quite a lot of solo music. The 5th May 2023 release Der Boxer is already his sixth album as a solo artist. I had a listen.
Sebel – About The Artist
Sebel was born in 1980 in Bochum. Even though he released his debut album Kein Superstar in 2001 already, his solo breakthrough was the 2011 single Heimat. The song was especially popular in his home region. Despite solo music, he is majorly known to work with Stoppok. However, he is / was also part of other bands, like the Beatles tribute The Barons or the band Kiosk.
Sebel – Der Boxer – Track by Track
The twelve song album lasts 43 minutes.
1. Der Boxer
Er steht auf wie so’n Boxer
Phoenix aus der Asche
Steht kühl da wie so’n Rockstar
Mit nem Hit in der Tasche
Und lässt die guten Geister
Aus der Flasche
(“He is standing there like a Boxer
Phoenix from the ashes
Stands there cool like a rock star
With a hit in his pocket
And leves the good ghosts / spirits
Out of the flask”)
Sebel opens his 2023 album with this rather wistful rocker, which is coming with excellent storytelling. Very atmospheric and intense beginning of the Der Boxer album.
2. Der letzte Wichser
After the intense rock style song, Der letzte Wichser (“The Last Jerk”, literally rather “The Last Wanker”) is a very different style of song. The basis of the song with strumming guitars rather feels like a folk song. However, brass and piano lines add the ease of pop music. Nice one.
3. Gib mir noch ein bisschen mehr
The third song describes meeting a beautiful lady in a bar in St. Pauli, the party and red light district of Hamburg. Very catching pop-rock song, which is driven by the vibes produced by the drums and guitars. On top, this song being a duet with a female voice (I don’t have her name, unfortunately…) leads to a nice touch as well.
4. Fernweh schlucken
The title of this 4:30 minute song is hard to translate, something like “Swallow wanderlust”. The song moves between intense rocking sections and very atmospheric ones, in which you just hear the drums, Sebel’s voice and the scattered scream of the guitars.Great one.
Lehramt is the only single Sebel featured from the album so far (at least at the time I write this review). Finally, it is the track which made me feel I have to review the whole album, after I featured it in my 7th April 2023 Songs of the Week. An amazing looking back to youth years and a praise to love with an easy folk-pop feeling.
6. New York
“Once to New York and back to you” is the thought which is driving this song. Sitting on the piano, Sebel is thinking about this transition. The song is a nice pop-rocker, which is nicely suits to the artist’s vocal style.
7. Wie der Wind weht
Being driven just by the acoustic guitar and the vocals for most of the time, Wie der Wind weht is a very intimate listen. The song is about the struggle wanting to change the world but just not being able to do so in that situation.
Ja, Du findest Dich in meinem Kopf
Ein Ohrwurm, der das Hirn verstopft
Wie so’n Radioposong,
Den ich nicht mehr hören kann.
(“Yeah, you can be found in my head
A catching song, which is blocking the brain
Like such a radio pop song
Which I am tired of listening to”)
Ain’t that a beautiful picturesque way to describe failed love and just don’t managing to get the thoughts of your love out of your head? I really loved to listen to this one.
9. Viva la Depresion
The song is driven by electronic style vibes. The struggle between depressive moments and good times in life is beautifully represented by altering between melodic and dramatic moments. Maybe not a song you fully enjoy listening to – but excellent transition of a story into a song.
Interesting co-incidence: I just watched the Bonnie & Clyde musical in London right before I wrote this review. And before I listened to this dark folk rocker about like being a “gangster team on flight”. Cool write, which is having some really hilarious moments, especially when Sebel is adding a fictive police radio transmission to the story.
11. Ohne dich
The eleventh track is a breakup song with a melancholic touch. Maybe not the most present song of the album, but it again nicely underlines Sebel’s expertise in songwriting.
12. Pimpf ausm Fernseher
The closing song merges some of the strengths of this album in one song. First of all, there are excellently written melodies and instrumental arrangements, which nicely suit the lyrics. These have a very personal and straight touch, but also don’t lack a proportion of irony and humor.
Sebel – Der Boxer – Spotify
Here is Der Boxer on Spotify:
Sebel – Der Boxer – My View
I really like Der Boxer. The songs are straight, entertaining, versatile and written with excellence. You can related to the characters and their stories easily. Really nice gem in the list of releases from Germany.
Music – Ruhrgebiet
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