Sep 2013 04

Informatik - Playing with FireInformatik
Category: Industrial
Album: Playing with Fire
Stars: 2.5
Blurb: This album’s title could easily refer to the group’s continued flirtation with pop formula.


The seventh album from the duo of Da5id Din and Tyler Newman on Metropolis Records, Playing with Fire shows the continued journey of Informatik as the act travels further down the pop path and leaves the futurepop beginnings even further behind. With its tone landing somewhere between the stellar Beyond and the somewhat disappointing Arena, Informatik attempts to blend edgy industrial rock and saccharine catchy pop in a way that proves to be a bit disorienting and disconcerting as “Electronic Arena Rock” meets more sentimental songwriting.

The opening guitar riffs and strong sing-a-long provoking lyrics of “No Sympathy” act as a warm introduction to Playing with Fire, though the song could do without the chorus’ backing vocals. “Something to Believe In” takes things to an even peppier level with its upbeat, plucky synths and uplifting message. As the opening for “How Long” begins, one almost expects David Gahan to start belting out lyrics as the resonating bass synth seems eerily reminiscent of a Depeche Mode track, but once Din’s deep baritone emerges to claim the track, it takes on a somewhat grim, bittersweet flavor, which nicely counteracts the cheerfulness of the previous track. The album continues to dance between harder edged elements and overtly sentimental love song lyrics that grow more tiresome as the block of “Stay,” “No One,” “Juliet,” and “Miles Away” feel like they could each be reworkings of boy band hits. This is especially true of “Juliet,” which, though obviously about Shakespeare’s classic, is so sickly sappy and saccharine one has to honestly wonder if Informatik is aiming for a teenage girl demographic.

Playing with Fire is the sort of album that ends up just being very difficult to recommend despite its obvious quality. Everything is well structured, very catchy, and very memorable, but the group’s self-described “Electronic Arena Rock” style coupled with the majority of the album’s subject matter makes it feel more like the Kid’s Bop version of industrial rock; just neutered and watered down to the point of making it as inoffensive and palatable as possible. Beyond certainly had its sappy and sentimental moments as well, but with Playing with Fire, it sometimes feels like high doses of estrogen and raging hormones would be needed to really enjoy it.
Track list:

  1. No Sympathy
  2. Something to Believe In
  3. How Long
  4. Brave New World
  5. Stay
  6. No One
  7. Juliet
  8. Miles Away
  9. Just for Nothing
  10. World of Wonder

Informatik Website
Informatik MySpace
Informatik Facebook
Informatik Twitter
Metropolis Records Website
Metropolis Records MySpace
Metropolis Records Facebook
Metropolis Records Twitter
Purchase at:
Amazon CD
Amazon MP3
Trubie Turner (Flexei)

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