Song of the Day: Faust – Jennifer

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Jordan Posner recalls: As one of my beloved “kraut-rock” bands, Faust was never a group to dabble too much in conventional song structure. Like a lot of the other avant-garde 70’s German groups, Faust was dedicated to pushing boundaries and carving out a new musical legacy for their home country. Their terrific 1973 record Faust IV  remains one of the most enduring kraut-rock offerings, mostly because it has a little something for everyone. The opening track, appropriately titled “Krautrock,” spends 9+ minutes incorporating textural effects and Velvet Underground-esque noise into a completely unique mission statement. It’s a template of the genre, if you will (which I will). “Krautrock” is everything all at once; it is a complete overhaul of whatever we’ve come to expect from German musicians up until this point. This is the new post-war German rock culture, complete with inexplicably confident and fully-formed guitar sound. Yet this never distracts from the now commonplace Motorik beat, learning and searching in its infancy. You should probably read my krautrock article (link) for more detail.

Point is,  the importance of this track vis à vis the development of post punk and all genres sprouting therein cannot be overstated. That being said, the tune isn’t especially hummable. Luckily, Faust delivers a few hooky melodies on accompanying tracks.

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This finally brings us to “Jennifer.”

Hazy, dreamlike and unmistakably Continental, “Jennifer” hints at a dream-pop version of Faust who continued well into the 1980’s rather than breaking up and becoming dormant soon after this record. They could very well have been My Bloody Valentine had they hung in there. Luckily, various members of the group have had a few reunions since then. Yet, to this writer’s ear, they have never been able to once again achieve the simple brilliance of this indelibly catchy tune.

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