Nena It's All in the Game [Bonus Tracks]
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- Released: February 4, 2013
- Originally Released: 2008
- Label: CHERRY POP
- 2.It's All in the Game
- 3.Young as You
- 4.Auf Wiedersehn
- 5.Warning Signs
- 6.Woman on Fire
- 7.Let's Humanize
- 8.You Don't Know What Love Is
- 9.Are You Awake?
- 10.Anyplace, Anywhere, Anytime
- 11.At the Movies
- 12.Just a Dream - (Mega Dream Mix)
- 13.99 Red Balloons - (Club Mix)
- 14.It's All in the Game - (12" Remix)
Personnel: Nena Kerner (vocals); Carlos Karges, J'rgen Dehmel (guitar); David Sanborn (saxophone); Uwe Fahrenkrog-Petersen (keyboards, programming); Rolf Brendel (drums, programming); Frank Ricotti (percussion); Cosa Rosa, Gale Robinson, Ramesh B. Weeratunga, Ron Randolph (background vocals).
Audio Remasterer: Scott Davies.
Liner Note Author: Scott Davies.
If ever there was a fluke one-hit wonder, it would be Nena's "99 Luftballoons," an anti-nuclear war, new wave dance song sung in German and made into a sensation thanks to MTV. But all one-hit wonders are required to deliver a second album, and Nena did so, delivering the clattering, clanking It's All in the Game late in 1985. It's All in the Game is the only album Nena release that has a complete English-language version of "99 Luftballoons" (the 2008 Cherry Pop reissue took this even further, adding the four known English-language rarities the band cut), and it does feel tailored for the U.S. and U.K. markets, relying on thunderous arena rockers -- arena rockers where the synthesizers are as prominent as the guitars, but the end effect is the same. Strangely for a band that harnessed all the quirky power of new wave on "99 Balloons," the best moments here are the most conventional hard rockers: the big blast of "Young as You," the Pat Benatar-meets-Stevie Nicks "Woman on Fire," and the sax-streaked power ballad "You Don't Know What Love Is" feel natural, whereas the robotic pulse of "Let's Humanize" feels stiff. Those highlights are apparent but they're never as distinctive as "99 Balloons," as Nena is trying to move right into the mainstream, a move that did not work because without a novelty hook, they just wind up sounding a bit generic. Appealingly generic, but generic all the same. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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