Fever has had bad press lately, as a symptom.

But now comes Jochen Distelmeyer - and sings about fever as this wonderful symptom of sharpened senses and sensuality, just like many others in pop did before him.

Distelmeyer sings it the same way, with this historical awareness: he has actually never sung a line in which the history of pop music and its great interpreters (he now often talks about Ella Fitzgerald) was not embedded.

Tobias Ruether

Editor in the feuilleton of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sunday newspaper in Berlin.

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And so "Im Fieber", one of the three singles that have been announcing the new album by the former Blumfeld singer for a few weeks, sounds like a quote.

After bowing to disco and pop and entertainment.

And at the same time after this typical Distelmeyer stubbornness: that it works, what he does, why not.

Golden suits, big keyboards, hot breath and

feelings

in German.

"Felt Truths" is Distelmeyer's third solo album and the first with new material in thirteen years.

In between was a debut novel, Otis, and a collection of covers, including by Britney Spears.

Both projects did not only have fans.

But just as Distelmeyer is now returning to his own songwriting and then doing it with a hit like "Im Fieber", everyone who was still waiting for him will breathe a sigh of relief.

"Im Fieber" sounds vaguely like the 80's charts, but it could also be the one song Distelmeyer had been searching for since the late albums of his epoch-making band Blumfeld, reconciling the intensity of guitar pop with the artificiality of chart pop, elegant, fast, seductive and with a refrain in cool haste.

And there are two or three other songs that work in a similar way on "Gefühlte Götterheit", for example "Komm" or "Tanz mit mir".

Songs in which Distelmeyer's experiment comes to fruition, which he has been trying with pop and German lyrics for almost 25 years since Blumfeld's "Thousand Tears Deep": brilliant inwardness, show with footnotes, a cool

yeah

for people from Germany.

Distelmeyer has spoken again in interviews about the fact that and how easy it is to do something like this: claiming to transform yourself into a character for the duration of a song that you mainly know from other songs.

Lonely man in the night, and then she comes in.

Or she'll never come back, that's why the man is so lonely at night.

And he said that you, no: that Distelmeyer can of course also sing such formulas in German that work every time anew in English, even if they have already been sung a hundred thousand times: Baby come back.

You give me fever.

But there are also three country songs in the middle of this new album.

Distelmeyer had written them in English for another project, with texts in which key terms from his work appear, such as “ghosts”, which are now haunting around here as “ghosts”.

And even if it wasn't meant that way, it's a complex, typical Distelmeyer operation: three country songs with slide guitar and all the trimmings, performed by a singer who grew up in East Westphalia with Anglo-American pop and translated it into language and forms like hardly anyone else before him.

And who now also retranslates this appropriation and transformation.

And act as if that were a matter of course.

And even if you're not convinced, listen carefully.

Felt Truths may seem like the self-indulgent, polished work of an artist with a strong sense of mission, who also drops a few free wisdoms left and right about social media, smartphones, and identity politics.

But here too, as in all of Jochen Distelmeyer's projects, productive unrest is at work, a permanent self-questioning about what it could be and what it is composed of: this I.

The felt and the real.

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