ROGER STEIN - Lieder ohne mich

Roger Stein - Lieder ohne mich

15 songs
61:59 minutes
Sturm & Klang


Usually we don’t review albums by singer/songwriters, but I was asked to have a closer look at the first solo album by Roger Stein from Switzerland. He is married to Sandra Kreisler, daughter of the late legendary cabaret artist Georg Kreisler. Together he and his wife lead the band Wortfront which is currently working on its fifth studio album.

Roger Stein has been signed to Sang und Klang, the label of Austrian singer/songwriter Konstantin Wecker. The album title Lieder ohne mich is a bit misleading for a one man show. The meaning of the title is that although Stein created the songs, it’s up to the listener to independently engage with the music. The album comes in a stylish digipak, and the worth reading lyrics are enclosed too. Maybe Stein has been influenced a little by his father-in-law whose mean old songs shocked quite a few people. Klassentreffen is a cynical retrospective on the apparently good, old times in high school. Alfred is a strange track about a man who surprisingly discovers that he’s gay. Die Statistik is another mean song with biting lyrics.

It’s a bit of a shame that these kinds of songs only make out about a quarter of the album. Lieder ohne mich comes with a lot of quieter tracks which concentrate on the man and his piano. Roger Stein quotes Konstantin Wecker as one of his biggest influences. Although I am not versed in this genre, I occasionally feel reminded of Udo Jürgens, as both of them put a lot of emphasis on the piano and the lyrics. The songs certainly don’t lack professionalism, but for my taste are just too quiet. The centrepiece is the nearly eight minute long 1890 which can be found in two different versions on the album. This song deals with a century of the artist’s family’s history.

Lieder ohne mich comes with some interesting pieces for those who are into cabaret music with sarcastic lyrics. I unfortunately lack the background to truly enjoy this kind of music, and therefore decide not to rate this album.

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