“WhoAmI?_” – A Sonic Journey of self reflection into the AI World

Album Review: “WhoAmI_?” by Left Engelmann
Written By: Dan Eachus

Left Engelmann’s musical journey is one of passion, dedication, and evolution. Born in 1980 in Dresden, Engelmann’s early exposure to synthesizer music ignited a flame within him, propelling him into a lifelong exploration of sound. His affinity for music production began at a young age, nurtured by his father’s gift of a Casio keyboard and later honed through experimentation with the Commodore AMIGA. This foundational period laid the groundwork for Engelmann’s future endeavors, culminating in the release of his second album, “WhoAmI?” on September 22, 2023.

“WhoAmI?” serves as a testament to Engelmann’s artistic growth and proficiency in blending genres. Positioned within the realm of romantic synthpop, the album effortlessly merges the nostalgic allure of Synthwave with the emotive vocals and lyrical depth of pop music. Across its twelve tracks, “WhoAmI?” navigates a spectrum of emotions, seamlessly oscillating between melancholy introspection and uplifting euphoria.

The album opens with “A Vision of Delight,” a fitting introduction that sets the tone for the auditory journey ahead. Laden with dreamy synth melodies and pulsating rhythms, this track beckons the listener into Engelmann’s sonic universe, inviting them to immerse themselves fully in its ethereal ambiance. As the album progresses, tracks like “Analogue Love” and “Freedom” showcase Engelmann’s adeptness at crafting infectious hooks and compelling rhythms, urging listeners to surrender to the irresistible urge to dance.

At the heart of “WhoAmI?” lies its titular track, a poignant reflection on identity and self-discovery. Engelmann’s introspective lyrics, paired with the album’s lush synth arrangements, evoke a sense of introspection and existential contemplation. This introspective thread is further explored in tracks like “Passats Blow” and “Grain by Grain,” where Engelmann delves into themes of longing, resilience, and the passage of time with a palpable sense of vulnerability.

Yet, amidst the album’s contemplative moments, there are also glimpses of euphoria and optimism. “Touch the Souls” and “Timewarp ’89 – Source of Inspiration” exude an infectious energy, infusing the listener with a sense of exhilaration and possibility. These tracks serve as a testament to Engelmann’s versatility as a musician, effortlessly transitioning between introspective ballads and upbeat anthems with finesse.

One of the album’s standout moments arrives with “To Mars and Back,” a cosmic odyssey fueled by swirling synths and pulsating basslines. As Engelmann paints a vivid sonic landscape, listeners are transported on a journey through the vast expanse of space, guided by the album’s mesmerizing melodies and evocative imagery.

Towards the album’s conclusion, Engelmann offers a stripped-back rendition of the title track with “WhoAmI?_ – Piano Version (live).” This intimate rendition serves as a poignant conclusion to the album, allowing Engelmann’s emotive vocals and lyrical depth to take center stage against a backdrop of delicate piano melodies.

In essence, “WhoAmI?” stands as a testament to Left Engelmann’s artistic prowess and unwavering commitment to musical innovation. With its seamless fusion of synthpop nostalgia and lyrical introspection, the album captivates listeners from start to finish, inviting them on a sonic journey of self-discovery and emotional resonance. As Engelmann continues to carve out his place in the musical landscape, “WhoAmI?” serves as a testament to his boundless creativity and enduring passion for the craft.

Dan Eachus is the President and co-owner of RetroSynth Lazersteel Records, with his own musical projects in the band Neutron Dreams and his solo project DMME.
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