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VNV Nation | Matter Form | review | electro | Lollipop

VNV Nation

Matter + Form (Metropolis)
by DJ Carrion

2005 brings one of the most highly-anticipated albums in the EBM/synthpop/whatever genre. This album is none other than Matter + Form by VNV Nation, their fifth release in a decade. An album that takes some risks and still succeeds, landing the number 7 spot on Billboard's Electronic Music Chart its first week out.

"Chrome" is one of the two best songs off the album ("Perpetual" is the other). It's filled with catchy hooks and infectious beats. It almost sounds like Nitzer Ebb and Babyland with Ronan's vocals atop. When they played here in Portland, they opened with this song, and the energy was enormous and got the crowd's adrenaline pumping.

"Arena" and "Perpetual" have a more organic feel, an '80s-flavored approach. Ronan flexes his old school EBM muscles on "Entropy" to appease those looking for something hard and angry. The majority of the instrumentals on the album range from classical pieces to pulsing club anthems. Friends of mine have joked about VNV Nation releasing an album similar to Burning Empires, in which they added vocals to the instrumentals.

The album has only six tracks with vocals, which is a little hard to swallow at first. After a few spins - and seeing these songs performed live with an energetic audience feeding them - VNV Nation shows what separates them from the rest: They have the ability to write material with raw emotion and profound meaning providing the soundtrack to many people's lives.

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