Top Ten Songs from Nina Hagen's "Nunsexmonkrock"Martin_Canine “Nunsexmonkrock” is the first solo album by German singer-songwriter Nina Hagen after the disbanding of the Nina Hagen Band, released in 1982.
The album peaked at number 27 on the German charts and number 184 on the US charts.
The music is a strong departure of her previous material with Nina Hagen Band. The group's style was mostly lyrically daring yet controversial new wave and punk, and is often credited for having created the Neue Deutsche Welle genre.
“Nunsexmonkrock” is an avantgarde album that has since been described as extremely unlistenable by both its haters and lovers. Nina Hagen’s vocal style, while always having been eccentric also on earlier records, reached a never again delivered level of noise and shrillness. She screams, rattles, squeaks, whines, strains her voice - much like Yoko Ono on her experimental albums (note that both artists did that intentionally and also recorded perfectly normal material). Even though her voice often sounds “ugly”, improvised and heavily trashy, Hagen is a trained singer and planned all this out. She actually uses all of her four octave wide vocal range on the album.
The album is bilingual in English and German with a tendency towards English, and its lyrics consist of surreal sentence fragments about religion, conspiracy theories, social commentary and spiritualism. The only thing straightforward about this album is the new wave inspired background music, but it's not so much what the focus is on.
Due to its chaotic, extremely difficult and messy style the reception of "Nunsexmonkrock" is as polarizing as it gets. Some call it a masterpiece of avantgarde, while others harshly deem it as pretentious trash (in contrast, Nina Hagen Band's work is universally praised as some of the greatest material ever recorded by a German artist).
Being a fan of many of Nina Hagen’s releases, I still have absolutely no idea what to think of this album. Part of me wants to stop halfway through the first track, but I usually end up listening to all of the songs, the album creating something like a rush and excitement through its unpredictableness. It definitely is not in any way representative for Nina Hagen’s music and completely stands out of her discography.
The Top Ten
The first three songs on my original remix ("Smack Jack", "Born in Xixax" and "Antiworld") are still somewhat normal. They have eccentric vocals but that's about it. They are not hard to get. After that... it just gets weirder. Judge for yourself if that's a good or bad thing. - Martin_Canine
I think this is the moment where the haze took over Mrs. Hagen's brain.
Listen to the audio sample... and while doing so always keep in mind: she is a trained singer who also starred in the Three Penny Opera, as well as being a legend of the German punk scene. - Martin_Canine
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2. Born In Xixax