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MADOU U.D.LICHT D.FANTASIE

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Tracklist

Mitwirkende

Komponist: VARIOUS
Künstler: Nena
Label: Europa

Rezension

Going one step further in her ambition to entertain children, in late 2002 Nena presented the first installments of stories about a boy called Madou, developed by herself with Sven Meyer, Meike Schäfer, and Axel Meintker. A book, Madou und die Reise zu den 1000 Sternen (Madou and the Journey to 1000 Stars), the album Madou und das Licht der Fantasie (Madou and the Light of Imagination), and even a cartoon version of the album's story, devised for presentation in observatories, were the first fruits of the planned series. The album, a mix of narration (by Ulrich Noethen) and songs, presents a parable of the tug-of-war between the life-affirming powers of imagination and the strength-sapping powers of a mysterious force that is intent on doing away with the colorful variety of life as it typically flourishes. It finds Madou and his little friends venturing into space, where stars of various character help them to save a number of stars who had fallen prey to the mysterious evil force, personified by the planet Murks (spoken by Martin Semmelrogge). The drama of the story unfolds as Madou saves the day by confronting the power of Murks with the power of his imagination, which frees the captive stars of their "murkiness" and lets them shine anew. Indeed, as imaginative as Nena's previous rock album, Chokmah, was (even surprisingly so, in a different stylistic dimension than usual), her songs for this album return to her usual mix of styles, but most importantly they continue the very strong quality as evidenced consistently in her new songs since 1998 (but so strangely absent in several cases in the remakes of her concurrent multi-platinum-selling 20th anniversary album, 20 Jahre Nena: Nena Feat. Nena, which, however, importantly provided her long overdue commercial comeback throughout 2002/2003). The nine songs on this album, even if heard separately from the narrative, make for one of the most satisfying and moving experiences that Nena has to offer, from the touching ballads such as "So Weit Weg" ("So Far Away") or "Zeichne Mir Dein Herz" ("Draw Me a Picture of Your Heart") to the confidently powerful performances of the likes of "Fantasie Ist Energie" ("Imagination Is Energy") and the bold closing track, "Die Sterne" ("The Stars"). ~ Alan Severa