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Ute Lemper – Punishing Kiss (2000)

March 13, 2015

[Album 383/1001]220px-Punishing_kiss

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.

Finally, as with Cabaret & Chicago, or Pulp & Divine Comedy albums for that matter, Punishing Kiss is the kind of performance that’s worth experiencing multiple times.

From → 2000s

  1. We have this CD! Had it for a long time. My lovely wife is a big Tom Waits fan, and I am a mildly-OCD music fan/collector who buys CDs for her that contain covers of Waits’ music. I do this largely because we already own all of his albums, so I have to go get other peoples’ versions! Anyway.

    This CD is really excellent. I’m glad it made the list. The Kurt Weill stuff is great, and I mean, Nick Cave, Elvis Costello, and… duh. Great CD.

    Our cover doesn’t look like the picture you put above, though. Ours looks like this:

    • And the Waits tune was a good one! I guess there must be North America/UK versions – Glad to hear you knew about (and enjoyed) this one, I’m impressed!

  2. I have an LP of Ute singing music by Kurt Weill, a favorite songwriter of mine. I will give it another listen today–thanks!

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. More like 563 Albums in 6 years! | 1001albumsin10years
  2. The Divine Comedy – A Short Album About Love (1997) | 1001albumsin10years
  3. Scott Walker – Scott 2 (1968) | 1001albumsin10years
  4. 2000-2005 | 1001albumsin10years

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