Max Raabe, with the looks of Fred Astaire and the deadpan humor of Christopher Walken, embarks on a new North American tour with a new recording featuring the hip, sophisticated 12-piece Palast Orchester.
Germany's "impeccably tuxedoed," "wry, unsmiling, and nonchalantly charismatic" star (New York Times) has performed at venues ranging from Carnegie Hall to Marilyn Manson's wedding, musically falling between vintage and vamp, cabaret and camp, Irving Berlin and Berlin-Mitte. With this run of performances, Raabe and his Palast Orchester are introducing a new kind of pop, straddling the classic and the futuristic. Their sound is as glamorous as it is ironic, a quirky homage to the aura of the Weimar Republic (Germany's "Roaring 20s").Can't Kiss Myself Alone is twelve tales of modern love told through a vintage lens - plus five of those happy-melancholic Raabe originals re-recorded as bonus tracks, for the first time in English. From the unsentimental and sensually swinging title-track to the tongue-in-cheek polka "Doctor, Doctor," Raabe's subjects range from the erotic to the sublime, all executed with discrete orchestral arrangements and impeccable vaudeville timing.
About the Artist
Max Raabe is so hip, so cool, and so German, it hurts. Never more so than on his new masterpiece "KÃ¼ssen Kann Man Nicht Alleine", a title which roughly translates as "One Cannot Kiss Alone". Now, the singer and entertainer from Berlin who has enchanted audiences as the leader of his "Palast Orchester" in New York's Carnegie Hall, at the Israeli Opera in Tel Aviv, or during the wedding of Marilyn Manson and Dita von Teese in Ireland, finally steps into the international arena - not quite alone, but definitely on his own. On "KÃ¼ssen Kann Man Nicht Alleine", the 47-year-old Berliner, who is renowned for his "impeccably tuxedoed" Fred-Astaire-looks, as a "wry, unsmiling and nonchalantly charismatic vocalist", and a "tenderly expressive singer" (all according to The New York Times), presents twelve exquisitely crafted modern love-songs, somewhere between futuristic pop and classic song-styling, between vintage and vamp, cabaret and camp, Irving Berlin and Berlin-Mitte. For the sensational songs and the state-of-the-art production, which employs strings and horns in the role of a deliciously dancing rhythm-section, Raabe has teamed up with his long-time accompanist and arranger Christoph Israel, as well as the fabulously successful songwriter and producer Annette Humpe. The latter, an award-winning fixture on the German music-scene, has scored some of the most memorable hits of the Neue Deutsche Welle with Ideal, and has kept busy and in the charts for the last thirty years with artists like Ichamp;Ich, Rio Reiser, or DÃF. The result is pure magic: an elegant and sophisticated album of timeless melodies enriched by Raabe's smooth baritone, which dips so low and then casually rises up to falsetto-highs, and a full backing of discrete orchestral arrangements, of course.
Going back to the future and far ahead into the past, the songs on "KÃ¼ssen Kann Man Nicht Alleine" cover a wonderfully wide range of emotions and themes, all the way from the erotic to the sublime. The album is nothing short of a musical journey of the heart, cinematic in scope, full of little stories and huge feelings. It starts with the unsentimental and sensually swinging title-track and ventures via the high-stepping "Ich Bin Nur Wegen Dir Hier" (I'm Only Here For You), which name-checks everyone from GÃ¼nter Grass to the Pope, or string-laden ballads like "Du Weisst Nichts Von Liebe" (You Know Nothing Of Love), and "Mit Dir MÃ¶chte Ich Immer Silvester Feiern" ("I Always Want To Celebrate New-Year's With You"), all the way to the tongue-in-cheek Polka "Doktor, Doktor", which tells the tale of the notoriously shy protagonist and a killingly beautiful train-conductress, only to close with "Schlaflied", the cutest of lullabies. Oh yes, there is humor here, and irony, too, alongside Max Raabe's unique brand of "happy melancholy", as it has been called. "Music", Max Raabe once said on stage at Carnegie Hall, "has always been closely linked to destiny and personal tragedy." Hesitating a beat, the man from Berlin whose "comic timing is flawless" (once again according to The New York Times), stared out at the audience and added:
Chances are that you will, once you embrace the music of Max Raabe - and learn to sing along with "KÃ¼ssen Kann Man Nicht Alleine".