For me, German music just did not exist except my once a year visit to a very large German restaurant during Oktoberfest and listening to German bands perform beer hall music during that event. Then one day, late May, 2001, I asked my daughter who sang the “99 Luftballons” song and she said it was Nena. I had never heard of Nena as a name to recognize. I next used iTunes to locate this performer and found some Nena albums. The ratings for a number of albums were full one hundred percent approval, which is a bit unusual. I then found the “Made In Germany” album and proofed just about every song using iTunes. I could not find one song I did not like. Gabriele Susanne Kerner really came across, in that album, as accomplished, composed, and seemingly comfortable. She seemed to really enjoy singing. She has very good control of her voice and imparts, in my opinion, a youthful and a bit playful singing style. Pictures of her really show a rather beautiful women.
Another surprise was the perfection of the band. A very good singer can carry a band but this outfit was most impressive. While listening to the “Made In Germany” CD, I honestly tried to find flaws, as one might expect from a live performance, but everything flowed very smoothly. There were some spontaneous breaks in the “action” but it was rather cute how these were treated and I did not mind and quite enjoyed these momentary diversions from linear singing. For me, I found that Nena to be a portal of sorts, like the Beatles were for the British. German music, in my mind, is no longer fixed in time to the beat of the oompah. I now like listening to Gabriele and the musicians that compliment and complete her sweet sounds and think this German music is special. (Posted on Nena’s facebook page as a review May 22, 2011)