Title: Another Language
Author: Ian Peel
Source: Record Collector
Publish date: January 2005
CLAUDIA BRÜCKEN & ANDREW POPPY
There (there) TTCD 001
Delicate reinterpretations ranging from Elvis to Radiohead
This project initially started when Depeche Mode’s Martin Gore asked German electronica icon Claudia Brücken to perform some songs at a party. She set to work with Andrew Poppy - one of the UK’s foremost avant-garde composers by day, but a dab hand at guitar-wielding by night. The party idea has long since passed but between them they have conjured a daring set of duets.
It may just be Claudia on vocals but Another Language really is a series of duets - with Poppy alternating between guitar and his native piano and providing not just backing, but equally compelling melody lines and arrangements for every song. Between them they’ve ‘reimagined’ Kate Bush’s Running Up That Hill (the kind of track Brücken’s fans have been waiting to hear her sing for years), the midnight cabaret of Grace Jones’ Libertango and a delicate take on Radiohead’s Nice Dream. On the atmospheric Breakfast (originally penned by The Associates’ Billy Mackenzie) Poppy dances across the piano while the vocals tell a moving story.
This is an album of firsts – Poppy’s first long-form pop project (despite intermittent projects with the likes of The The and Psychic TV), the first time Brücken has sung more than a line or two in her native tongue (like the tender Die Nebensonnen), and the first time these songs have been reinterpreted in such a simple way. It’s a sensitive set that’s sequenced exactly like a concert, in which Elvis’ Wooden Heart (one of the first records Poppy ever heard on the radio as a child) makes a touching, almost ambient finale. Ian Peel