Ute Lemper – Punishing Kiss (2000)
A: Ute Lemper, Punishing Kiss
Q: What is an album I would likely never have encountered but thanks to its inclusion on the 1001 list, I was able to explore and enjoy?
It will be interesting to look at the geographic distribution of the 1001 list someday; this is among the first I can recall being performed by a German female vocalist.
I have no recollection of this singer, this album, or any of these songs from 15 years ago. As we were ringing in the new century, the name of Ute’s collaborator, The Divine Comedy, wouldn’t have been ringing any bells either.
Chances are however, 15 years from now, I’ll still be listening to their collaboration, especially a few of the early-record tracks.
One in particular, Tango Ballad, is irresistible.
Neil Hannon (speaking of artists I wouldn’t have otherwise encountered but really appreciate today) is delightfully over-the-top & his low tones pair really nicely with Ute’s voice.
I appreciate that the chorus-ending chord never feels resolved. The song reminds me a bit of Pulp’s I Spy, less creepy perhaps, but similarly compelling and unpredictable.
Also, much like the less-than-family-dinner-friendly I Spy lyrics, I find myself singing Tango Ballad‘s equally risqué big chorus exit line at less than opportune times.
On the subject of chorus lines, I’ve since read Ute has done a lot of theatre; I’d imagine she made a fine Sally Bowles/Velma Kelly.