Mercedes Dance
Jan Delay
Vertigo - Universal
August 4, 2006

Track list
  1. Mercedes Dance - Intro
  2. Klar
  3. Kartoffeln
  4. Kirchturmkandidaten
  5. Für Immer Und Dich
  6. Feuer
  7. Gasthaus Zum Lachenden Stalin
  8. Plastik
  9. Ahn Ihn Garnicht
  10. Raveheart
  11. Im Arsch feat. Udo Lindenberg
    amazon.de Bonus Tracks
  12. Die Sonne, Die Scheint Disco No 1 Live Mix
  13. Flashgott Flashgott - feat. Dennis Dubplate & Xavier Naidoo Disco No 1 Mix
  14. Irgendwie, Irgendwo, Irgendwann 2006 Live Remix
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 5 Backing : 5 Production : 4/5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 4/5
Five years have gone, since the first German language reggae album "Searching For The Jan Soul Rebels" was released by Jan Delay, who was born as Jan Eißfeldt and who started out as a member of German hiphop crew Absolute Beginner (now just Beginner), but with fellow members of Absolute Beginner and other artists around his (now defunct) Eimsbush label and Mathias Arfmann of Turtle Bay Country Club he started a reggae band: Sam Ragga Band and in 2001 they released "Searching For The Jan Soul Rebels" as the Jan Delay solo album, with a title and a cover inspired on the famous Dexy's Midnight Runners album. Musically however, inspired by the overwhelming success of the 1999 Jan Delay cover of Nena's "Irgendwie, Irgendwo, Irgendwann" for Herbert Grönemeyer's "Pop 2000" sampler, it was a pure reggae album, even with so many of the guests coming from the German hiphop-scene, the beats were 'Germaican' all along. In the meanwhile he released using the Eizi Eiz alias again in 2003 "Blast Action Heroes" together with fellow Beginner members Denyo77 and DJ Mad. Now Jan Delay is back with this "Mercedes Dance" (pronounced rhyming with Mercedes Benz) album, going a completely new musical direction and style once more, leaving rap and reggae behind for the moment with his great new backing band Disko No. 1, this is 100% hot blooded funk as he explains in the titletrack "Mercedes Dance - Intro" opening this album
ein neuer Jan, ein neuer Anfang
reggae ist tot, jetzt ist funk dran

but together with amongst others old companions Mathias Arfmann and Tropf and recorded at the former's Turtle Bay Country Club (as well as Hamburg's La Boom Studios), followed by the first single, of which the music was penned by the Stylistics' (known best in the reggae world for their "Country Living", "Break Up To Make Up" and "Betcha By Golly Wow") Linda Creed and Thom Bell, his extremely catchy "Klar (Album Version)", a real earwig boom disco funk tune. And the strange but grooving rap tune "Kartoffeln" Potatoes with its phenomenal
aber wenn das, was ich gerade hier gelabert habe stimmt
wieso kann ich dann verdammt noch mal so cool sein wie ich bin?

countering the beautiful horn-riffs by Johnny John (trombone), Philipp Kacza (trumpet) and sax-player Lieven Brunckhorst who together with Jan Delay is responsible for the superb horn-arrangements. Pure funk is also backing the soulful accusation
hier ist der delay lama
mit ner kleinen story, nem kleinen drama
es geht um die, die an der ganzen scheisse verzweifeln
sich ne wumme greifen und auf den kirchsturm steigen

es war ein fehler sie zu verarschen
(ihr habt sie belogen, jetz stehen sie da oben)
ihr züchtet kirchturmkandidaten
(ihr habt sie belogen, jetz stehen sie da oben)
es war ein grosser fehler sie zu verraten
(ihr habt sie belogen, jetz stehen sie da oben)
jeden tag züchtet ihr "Kirchturmkandidaten"

before a church-organ leads us into the intro of the only cover tune (as far as lyrics are concerned) of this album, the beautiful love ballad "Für Immer Und Dich", written by German actor/singer-songwriter Rio Reiser, the late Ton, Steine, Scherben frontman, recorded for his first (Annette Humpe produced) solo album "Rio I.". The next tune "Feuer" is also about love, more specifically about keeping the fire burning once infatuation has grown into love, followed by the very nice instrumental "Gasthaus Zum Lachenden Stalin" composed by several members of Disko No. 1 and Jan Delay together. More social criticism inspired the lyrics of the rocking "Plastik" about die menschen ohne seele, die kaufen dingen ohne seele, kaufen plastik, before the jazzy funk of "Ahn' Ich Gar Nich'" incorporating some of the funniest lyrics heard this year so far
aber ich sag, ich glaub an dem tag
an dem ich die scheisse check
hört ihr elton john und capleton zusammen auf einen track

... is followed by the dance and party tune "Ravehart" and the great rockballad "Im Arsch" featuring Germany's rock-icon Udo Lindenberg (who had his breakthrough into the German mainstream 33 years ago) closing the standard edition of this album. As a bonus on the special amazon.de limited edition of "Mercedes Dance" three of Jan Delay's successful reggae tunes from "Searching For The Jan Soul Rebels" have been included in their Disko No. 1 Live and Remix versions; "Die Sonne, Die Scheint (Disko No. 1 Live Mix)", originally a dancehall combination tune over a riddim built by Jan Delay together with Tropf, featuring one of Germany's best known dancehall MCs D-Flame, "Flashgott, Flashgott (Disko No. 1 Mix)", the remix of his cooperation with Eimbush labelmate Dennis Dubplate and now turned superstar German soulsinger and rapper Xavier Naidoo, who enjoyed a huge German popchart hit with "Ich Kenne Nichts (Das So Schön Ist Wie Du)", a collaboration with Wu-Tang Clan beatcreator RZA. The last tune on this great (non-reggae but wholeheartedly recommended) album is the new version of the tune that kickstarted his (reggae-)-solo-career, his 1999 take on Nena's "Irgendwie, Irgendwo, Irgendwann (2006 Live Remix)" to close an album with an extremely high entertainment value.