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Guano Apes
Bel Air
Sony Music Entertainment
www.guanoapes.org


Is it okay to admit that listening to the Guano Apes' latest album Bel Air (and first since their best of album in 2004) brought upon a toe tapping mood within? I don't usually tap my toe, but I could not help tapping said toe, or help bob my head... or feel totally impressed and satisfied after listening to this catchy, hook ridden album. Hmm... "satisfied"... that may just be the perfect word to describe how one may feel after listening to this album...

Why? Because frankly, I often feel used, damnit. Often times, after listening to a song, I feel as if what I just heard was an artist simply using my ears and money as a means to an end. Not the case with the Guano Apes.

This album brings an experience to the listener that is both fulfilling and joyous. The Guano Apes mix haunting melodies with some beautiful harmonies and an industrial/goth/dance sound with poppy hooks that brings you to the understanding of why the word "hook" is used to describe certain tunes. Seriously, listen to "When The Ships Arrive" and tell me that doesn't stop you where you are and get you moving. These finely crafted songs with an industrial edge are fueled by singer Sandra Nasic, who brings the whole package; sex appeal, a sense of fashion and, most importantly, a tremendous voice with fantastic range to lead this sensational quartet. Her voice can fluctuate from smooth to evil, gritty to serene. All the while Henning Rümenapp, Stefan Ude, and Dennis Poschwatta provide musicianship and a chemistry that obviously has gone nowhere throughout their hiatus, but has remained top notch and intact for the six years that this band was apart.

It's an absolute treat and fantastic set of songs that the Guano Apes have released here for their adoring fans around the world. This album is diverse, incredibly catchy, musically flawless and, needless to say, a must have album for not just any Guano Apes enthusiast, but any music enthusiast period.

After several years apart, they come back, and arguably better than ever. And that's no cliché, that's the truth.

-David Delgado

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