BERLIN – Transcendance (2019)
With its original line up reunited, ’80s band BERLIN – famous for their ‘Take My Breath Away’ hit featured in Top Gun’s soundtrack – are back with the new album “Transcendance“.
In the early 1980s, Berlin was one of the darlings of the New Wave music scene. Originating back in 1978, they were one of the first American bands of the era to do what they did, and through some struggles, their vision found them success.
In fact, their 1982 single “The Metro” has long achieved classic and iconic status, and by the middle part of ’80s, the alluring band would go on to explore the more sophisticated aspects of the broad stylistic spectrum.
Scoring an Academy Award and Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song for the Sophistipop ballad “Take My Breath Away,” which was included in the soundtrack of the 1986’s Top Gun, Berlin became a household name.
However, and after the album Count Three A Pray (1986) failed to take the public’s breath away, the band imploded, with vocalist Terri Nunn taking the band name with her.
The three releases since have effectively been Nunn solo albums, but “Transcendance” sees co-founders John Crawford (bass) and David Diamond (keyboards) re-join the fold.
And as a 40th Anniversary tour approaches, “Transcendence” doesn’t disappoint – packed to the brim with bass and synth laden 80s-style New Wave Rock&pop beats, fabulous melodies, sumptuous hooks, and Nunn’s sexually charged vocals.
It may only run to 10 tracks over 37 minutes, but “Transcendance” is one of those rare beasts – an almost perfectly crafted piece of classic ’80s stuff – in 2019.
‘Rock’ maybe not so much, but with singer Terri Nunn (still looking ‘hot’ despite being a Mum of 5, and only a few years away from 60), giving the performance of her career, it’s intoxicating.
In the Eighties, this album would have yielded at least 4 guaranteed Top Ten hits.
And with a renewed interest in that decade, as evidenced by Trevor Horn currently touring his recent Trevor Horn Re-imagines The Eighties album, the timing is perfect.
With its lush strings, brass and synths, ‘All For Love’ is an absolute ‘pearler’. ‘Majesty’ and ‘No One Left Alive’ are two of the most gorgeous ballads you’ll hear this year, or any other, with Nunn’s vocals dripping in pheromones.
The sultry vibes of ‘On My Knees’ caress the senses, and ‘Lust’ should be x-rated.
The title track sounds very Eighties, however there’s some dark modernity to it, and ‘Show Me Tonight’ is an infectious throwback mash in the style of The Tubes’ ‘What Do You Want From Life’ and Blondie.
There’s even an excellent re-working of the band’s 1982 breakthrough single ‘Sex (I’m A…)’ which was written by Crawford, Diamond and Nunn.
Frankly, Berlin long players weren’t even close to being this consistent in the Eighties, and Nunn has never sounded better.
Who’d have seen this coming? Finally, the ghost of ‘Take Your Breath Away’ is laid to rest.
01 – I Want You
02 – Show Me Tonight
03 – Transcendance
04 – Lust
05 – On My Knees
06 – Sex (I’m A…) (Re-recorded)
07 – No One Left Alive
08 – All for Love
09 – In My Heart
10 – Majesty
Terri Nunn – Vocals
John Crawford – Bass
David Diamond – Keyboards
Carlton Bost – Guitars
Chris Olivas – Drums
Dave Schulz – Keyboards, Programming