Bilderbuch’s great album “Yellow is the Field”. Author: Jens Buchholz
Today, The Beatles’ 1966 album Revolver is considered an era. But when it came out in 1966, mixed reviews were met. Kinks singer Ray Davies was also allowed to write a review for a then-large British newspaper. “Revolver,” he wrote, is a “load of garbage.” What happened? The short version is this: The Beatles dared to change. This often provokes a conservative reflex between fans and listeners, which can be worded as follows with Edusch’s coffee commercial from the 90s: Everything has to stay the way it is.
Sarah Mahlberg played Ray Davies in Deutschlandfunk and reviewed the new album of the Austrian band Bilderbuch: “The band on the new album often doesn’t sound like herself, dreamy indie pop is enough.” . The band dared to change!
After the monster cake
Picture Book: Yellow is a field. Machin Records.
Picture books have already undergone certain metamorphoses. Early in their career, the band played fairly regular rock music. Beautiful, but does not leave an indelible impression. The first two albums, Nelken und Schillinge and Die Pest in Piemont, had beautiful titles, but were lost in the general pop. After a four-year break from the album, the band re-emerged in 2015. And the title of the album said it all: Schick Schock. The album is like a monster pie. Too much of everything.
The single “Machin” has set the standard. The precise sounds of American funk rock and the undoubtedly mannered voice of singer Maurice Ernst resulted in an unprecedented sound. The way Falco might have sounded if he had had more courage. But in terms of a sense of alienation, picture books can really only be compared to Deichkind. Are you constantly asking yourself is this seriously thought or is it a parody? Or both? Schick Schock has been on the Austrian charts for 66 weeks. In addition, the group has achieved significant success in Germany and Switzerland. Subsequent albums produced in quick succession could keep up. First of all, of course, the hit “Bungalas”.
It has not been published since 2019. Now a new album here. “Yellow is the field,” they say. And that’s unlike anything Bilderbuch has done before. Even the first crystal clear sparkling single, Nahuel Huapi, amazed regular listeners. Acoustic guitars, echoing sound, melodically dreamy and melancholic. No radio! No skirt! And that’s how the whole album sounds. Bilderbuch confesses to some sober psychedelic. Bergauf’s introductory work is reminiscent of Michael Rother’s Flammende Herzen.
And greetings from the profanity of Beatles lure music and lyrics. In the song “Rent” lyric, I don’t have a ticket, but a “ride ticket”. Although the melodic guitar phrase “Daydrinking” sounds like John Lennon’s Mindgames. DLF reviewer Sarah Mahlberg is absolutely right, the album sounds dreamy. Music like a yellow field of cereals through which a gentle wind blows. “Yellow is the field / Where I’m gonna lay you down,” says the album’s title track, and that’s also a message to the listener. picture books have changed. “This world is changing,” the lyrics of “I’m not gonna lie” say.
And you can tell. There is still a mixture of English phrases and German poems. More artistic than ever. “Everything merges / Like reflections in the mixer.” That’s how the lyrics feel. Like reflections in a chrome faucet, like MC Escher’s picture “Hand with a Ball”. A reflection of the popular world. The picture books came back unexpectedly but amazingly.