Eve - Album

Eve (Album)

Booka Shade

Album, Released 1st of November 2013

Buy / Listen

Booka Shade's fifth album is billed as a dramatic rebirth. Having come close to splitting up, the Berlin duo set up shop at the Eve residential studio in Manchester (hence the title) and reportedly rediscovered their mojo while writing this album from scratch. You would struggle to discern that from Eve's bland opening tracks. The first song (a trite use of the reggae standard "Many Rivers To Cross") and the lead single "Love Inc" both sound like overtures to daytime radio. It isn't until "Maifeld" that we get a blast of the Booka Shade that we know and, when they sound like this, love. Dark and cinematic, a dank swamp of throbbing bass, it's struck through with their best melody since "Body Language," an arcing, chiming riff of real beauty. "Love Drug," featuring Fritz Helder (formerly of Azari & III), is another highlight, in which Booka Shade combine glowering dubstep bass, minimal techno beats and an emotional vocal into a compelling slice of electronic pop. On a track like that, Booka Shade update classic Depeche Mode, but elsewhere ("Perfect Time") they seem content to simply mimic them. The epic "Only When You Wake Up" sounds like the German duo on autopilot, and the cheaply affecting "Crossing Borders" trades in formulaic vocal house tropes that you could trace all the way back to Joe Smooth's "Promised Land". Eve leaves you wondering how much Booka Shade continue to be inspired by dance music. Like New Order, they were once capable of taking on-trend undercurrents from contemporary club music and weaving those into fresh crossover tracks without compromise. Eve, in contrast, sounds self-referential, dated and pretty low on ideas. The creative gap between this record and something like Moderat's similarly pop-friendly is huge. Eve may maintain Booka Shade's festival bookings, but it adds little to their story. Tracklist: 01. Many Rivers 02. Love Inc 03. Kalimera 04. Leema 05. Maifeld 06. Perfect Time 07. Time’s On My Side 08. Crossing Borders feat. Fritz Kalkbrenner 09. Love Drug feat. Fritz Helder 10. Only When You Wake Up 11. Ballad Of The East 12. Jesolo