(Reviewed by wavemeister):
'Voices&Images', released in 1988, Synthpop
That Smiling Face
The Great Commandment
Winner Takes Nothing
From Ay To Bee
Where Has The Childhood Gone
Music For Ballerinas
I Once Had A Dream
They Catch Secrets (Bonus CD Track)
Pompeji (Bonus CD Track)
In the fall
of 1987, many owners and clerks of record shops were confronted with the
question 'Do you have the new Depeche Mode single?'.
Actually, it wasn´t a DM release but the first single of a new German
synthpop trio, Camouflage.
Great Commandment' was featured in the German video clip show 'Formel
Eins', it became a Top 20 hit (#14) and was in heavy rotation on many
turntables of radio stations and clubs.
This single featured all the trademarks of Depeche Mode - a strong melody
and uncannily similar vocals. With this success, Marcus Meyn, Oliver Kreyssig
and Heiko Maile went with their producer Axel Henning in the Dynaton Studios
to record the first full-lenght album, Voices&Images.
tore this album which was released in 1988 apart for being 'just another
DM-copy', and they rated it not very high. Nonetheless, the fans of this
genre loved it and so it went also high in the album charts. 'Voices&Images'
spawned another two singles, 'Strangers Thoughts' (#20) and 'Neighbours'.
wasn´t such a great idea to start an album with the cracks and pops
of a worn-out copy in the vinyl-era...but this is just the short intro
to 'That Smiling Face', a melancholic mid-tempo tune. And this is also
the main style of the whole album, 'The Great Commandment', 'Winner Takes
Nothing' and 'Strangers Thoughts' are the only (slight) deviations from
this course, real uptempo tracks like DM´s 'Master And Servant'
are completely missing.
Strangely, one of their strongest tracks, 'They Catch Secrets' with it´s
uneasy atmosphere and lyrics was released as a bonus track on the CD (it
was featured as the B-side on 'Strangers Thoughts'), they may should have
skipped the instrumental on the vinyl edition instead. For the curious...'Pompeji'
was the B-side of 'The Great Commandment'.
'Music For Ballerinas' and 'Pompeji' are two instrumentals, and fairly
said, both tracks are merely fillers.
Camouflage followed the scheme which was set by their great models (and
the genre in general) with songs of (failed) love and mild critcism of
political structures as in 'The Great Commandment', 'Neighbours' and 'Strangers
For the first
album release, it sounded amazingly mature, thanks to the good production
of Axel Henninger who was also responsible for many other artists like
Moskwa TV, Micro Chip League, X-Perience and many more.
Both the album and the single 'The Great Commandment' are now classics
in the synthpop genre. Camouflage released more albums until today, but
the hits and chart notations became rare, as they also tried to 'update'
the sound which wasn´t entirely what their fans wanted to hear.
to this review by Flix):
Nice one Wave. Definitely one of my alltime favs. The Great
Commandment is one of those songs that will never go away.
to this review by xistenza):
It's interesting to see how so many critics were quick
to write them off as another generic synthpop group. I think it's great
that the fans proved them wrong as "Voices & Images" has
become a "MUST HAVE" for all synthpop fans. Also,
I think the intro to "That Smiling Face" is fantastic. It's
the perfect set up to one of their BEST songs.