Review #238: Trans Europe Express, Kraftwerk

Karla Clifton
2 min readFeb 14, 2022

#238: Trans Europe Express, Kraftwerk

Rolling Stone quotes Lester Bangs as saying that music was “being taken over by the Germans and the machines.” (Bangs was portrayed by Phillip Seymour Hoffman in Almost Famous.) Kraftwerk, therefore, is a vision first seen by Lester Bangs.

Willie Nelson’s Red Headed Stranger (#237) was released two years before Trans Europe Express. The world we live in is truly fascinating. Our recent review of Daft Punk’s Discovery (#236) will help us with our understanding of this new European electro pop, though it predates Kraftwerk by almost a quarter century.

Traces of Daft Punk echo through “Europe Endless,” with its chordy vocals and needy keyboard. That said, it still sounded a little bit like they were playing with kids’ toys. “Trans-Europe Express” can’t help but sound funny and dated for the same reason, even with its timely David Bowie lyrical reference. (Bowie’s Low (#206) came out in Berlin that same year.)

“The Hall of Mirrors” caught my attention because it appeared on the Mr. Robot soundtrack. I’m also almost positive that the finale “Endless, Endless” is on the Black Mirror: Bandersnatch soundtrack, though there’s no proof of that online, at least as far as I can tell.

At this point, it feels only natural that I should stop asking whether Rolling Stone continues to be “full of it” at the end of each review. It’s become a senseless redundancy, space filler, a place for me to take cheap shots at something I actually enjoy very much.

Other Highlights: “Franz Schubert” is named for an Austrian composer and mimics the strings of an orchestra.

Tracks That Scared Me: “Showroom Dummies,” “Metal on Metal,” “Abzurg.”

Most Fitting Simpsons Quote: Help, the Germans are coming to get me!

Review #237: Red Headed Stranger, Willie Nelson

Review #239: Criminal Minded, Boogie Down Productions