I always enjoy introducing you to emerging artists. One of the reviews I feature about a rather less known artist from Germany is Gedankenspiele. It is the debut album by Pascal Blenke. I ran into his music on a promotion platform and just had to share it with you. Here is my review of the album, which Blenke has released on 23rd June 2023.
Pascal Blenke – About The Artist
Pascal Blenke is a 23 year old pop singer from Stuttgart in Germany. He has a background in jazz as well as in pop. He studied both as a vocalist in that city. However, he initially wanted to pursue a career as a jazz pianist, but he was declined at university, with the professor telling him to rather pursue a pop career. In 2021, he released his debut EP Wer traut es sich (“Who is daring it”).
Pascal Blenke – Gedankenspiele – Track by Track
The eleven song album lasts 39 minutes.
1. Wo gehör ich hin
The first song of the album is already setting a certain direction for the album. The rather virtous piano play is the defining element of Blenke’s music. The drums are brushed a bit more as in a typical pop song as well. A nice style of music, somewhere between pop and jazz.
2. Augen auf
Augen auf (“Eyes open”) is a very groovy song, driven by bass elements. The basic style of the chorus reminds me of some German pop songs of the 1980’s – but the melodic topping added by the young German artist leads to very laid back, cool atmosphere.
Like the opening track, the title song Gedankenspiele has been one of the single releases of the album. The song is a slow piano ballad with a very reflective touch. Ich will frei sein, wie kann ich Dir nur verzeihen – “I want to be free, how on Earth can I forgive you” – is the key phrase of the chorus. The longer the song lasts, the more passionate Blenke is thinking about this.
I better don’t discuss about that weird gender-star in the German title, but rather describe the song. It is the first fully uplifting, happy pop track of the album. There are even some summer and dance vibes. The song encourages the listener to try out something new. Or, how, Blenke names it, Werde ein neuer Menschen wenn Du magst – “Become a new kind of human if you like”.
The single release Sternennacht is working a lot with the drums. Another very atmospheric song, which feels so different than most other tracks on the album. The long, almost muted interlude is a brave, but also very cool element.
The beginning of this Abenteuer (“Adventure”) reminds me of Augen Auf. The song is driven by a present bass groove. However, the chorus almost feels kitschy compared to that. At least, this part of the song is very melodic and even has some schlager qualities. The duration of almost four minutes even allows to add a guitar solo.
7. Wenn ich es sag
The nice blending of a fine piano melody and strumming acoustic guitar chords, together with some jazzy drumming… That’s all what Wenn ich es sag needs on the melodic side. At least, this is about the very intense beginning of the song. Some later parts of the song come with some more power. Nonetheless, this sone is one of the most beautiful pieces of musical artwort on this album.
Ich folge meinen Träumen
Setz die Füße in die Luft
Vertraue meinen Träumen
Und Luft, sie trägt
(“I am following my dreams,
Lift my feet into the air
Trust in my dreams
And the air, it is carrying me”)
Yeah, there is a bit of kitsch feeling in here again. But ain’t this one a beauty? Träume has some folk touch – this is a beautiful blending of Blenke’s style. I would name this one to be my favorite song of the album.
For almost half of this four minutes, there is just a small, thin, fairy-alike piano melody and Pascal Blenke. This is so magical that I even felt a bit of sad when it stopped. Even though the song gains some more power, this style stays special.
10. Zeig mir wie es geht
The very bassy and funky closing track is another big surprise of the album. The sound is very unique, but still fits well into the context of the album. These elements are what an album is all about.
Pascal Blenke – Gedankenspiele – Spotify
Here is the album on Spotify:
Pascal Blenke – Gedankenspiele – My View
Gedankenspiele might not be the perfect album – but to me it is close to a perfect debut. Blenke demonstrates a unique sound – and even though there are quite some differences in style and mood between the songs, they feel to belong together, like ten stories in a good storybook. I love it.
Flyctory.com and Stuttgart
Jazz on Flyctory.com
Here are all postings on Flyctory.com related to Jazz: