Ulrich Schnauss's music has been described as "U2 if Brian Eno had ousted Bono and commandeered the band in 1985".
is not a farewell from German electronic artist Ulrich Schnauss, but it does mark the last in a trilogy that includes Far Away Trains Passing By
and A Strangely Isolated Place
. Both are landmark albums of melodically ecstatic electronica, and Goodbye
flows from their digital loins. Tracks like "Never Be the Same" and "In Between the Years" share the same surging rhythms, heroic electronic melodies, and jangly shoe-gazer guitars heard on the earlier discs. A slight tweak on Goodbye
is the shift toward more overt vocal tracks as opposed to the textural, chanting choruses Schnauss has always employed. Rob McVey, the singer from Longview, intones the epic strains of "Shine," while "Stars" places singer Judith Beck deep in echoes, singing like a delay-drenched, surf-music dervish. In fact, "delayed," "drenched," and "dervish" pretty much sum up Goodbye
. Schnauss piles on effects and layers in a psychedelic melee that would leave Ozric Tentacles and Pink Floyd standing transfixed by his stroboscopic strategies. Unlike on his previous CDs, Schnauss doesn't let you get comfortable. Reverb-smeared vocals, feedback-oscillated synthesizers, and raging guitars of destruction crush through on tracks like "Medusa." But there are also moments of sublime beauty and the kind of haunting melodies that have made Schnauss a favorite for chill-out soundtracks of the imagination. Ice crystals glisten on the branches of "Einfeld" and the deliriously euphoric "Goodbye" simply lifts you higher, in a spiritual way. It may be goodbye to this era of Ulrich Schnauss, but it promises many happy returns. --John Diliberto