Lindemann – F & M
Released: 22nd November, 2019
Till Lindemann | vocals
Peter Tägtgren | all instruments
What do you get when you combine multi-instrumentalist and producer extraordinaire Peter Tägtgren with one of rock’s most recognisable voices and Rammstein frontman Till Lindemann? You get damn near perfection!
Four years after the release of their debut offering Skills and Pills the duo combine once again on F & M. Unlike the first release where Lindemann sings in English, on this his dulcet tones are delivered in his native German. According to the vocalist the debut album was sung in English on purpose so as to differentiate it from Rammstein. So now we have Swedish music with German lyrics, what could possibly go wrong – not a lot as it turns out. Let’s start with the fact half the songs were written for musical theatre.
Admittedly the musical was the story of two children kidnapped by a cannibalistic witch who lives in a house made of cake and chocolate. If that’s not the basis for some kick arse music I don’t know what is. So Hansel and Gretel songs in hand we’re off on a wild ride. The album kicks off with ‘Steh auf’ a fairly straight down the line song you’d expect from the duo. To be honest, if it wasn’t for Tägtgren’s trademark arrangement and sound it could almost be Rammstein such is Till Lindemann’s unique voice. It’s actually something I was a little concerned about – with lyrics sung in German this album would just sound like Rammstein 2.0. Well, it doesn’t.
The first three tracks act as a nice little opener, almost lulling you into a false sense of what you think the album is going to sound like. Tägtgren’s signature sound is stamped all over it. But just as you ease into the comfort zone a curve ball is thrown with ‘Blut’, it’s a dark song that marches on relentlessly dripping with menace. Leading up perfectly to what I think is the stand-out track of the album ‘Knebel’. It’s a folky with almost jaunty strumming of a guitar for a good two thirds of the song. Just as you think it’s going to be a standard acoustic track at the 2:27 minutes mark the big German lets rip with a scream of “Knebel in den Mund!” and you’re crushed under the pure heaviness. It’s not often I’m genuinely surprised by a song but this hits so unexpectedly. What is he singing? “Knebel in den Mund” translates to “gag in the mouth”. Yeah, this shit is dark. On a side note if you want to check out the accompanying and controversial music video head over to YouTube for the censored version. For those with stronger constitution you’ll find ‘Knebel’ on Reddit in all its uncensored glory.
The dastardly duo change the pace by throwing in a tango with ‘Ach so gern’ – grab your partner clamp a red rose between your teeth and strut a little cheek to cheek. This song has much, oh so much. If there’s one thing I regret not being bi-lingual is missing out on the sheer lyrical humour Tägtgren and Lindemann are capable of. I know there’s some absolute gold on this album but sadly my German is restricted to hello, goodbye and ordering pork knuckle with beer – that latter comes in very handy whilst in Germany believe me.
That aside, the more you dig into this album the more surprises are thrown up, there’s varied a mix of genres it’s impossible to Pigeonhole the sound. Industrial, orchestral, electronic combined with the gentle beauty of a song like ‘Wer weiß das schon‘. If you can grab the version of F & M with two bonus tracks, one being ‘Mathematik’ a haunting electro track with a touch of rap. The other a Pain remixing of ‘Ach so gern’ taking it from tango to something else entirely. F & M is the combination of the genius that is Peter Tägtgren and Till Lindemann. Separately musical trail blazers, together an unstoppable force.
Lindemann F & M is a strong contender for album of the year… Es ist gut, sehr gut
Lindemann – F & M tracklisting
1. Steh auf
2. Ich weiß es nicht
6. Frau & Mann
7. Ach so gern
8. Schlaf ein
10. Platz Eins
11. Wer weiß das schon
13. Ach so gern