Top Ten Songs from Xavier Naidoo's "Nicht von dieser Welt"

“Nicht von dieser Welt” is a 1998 album by German soul singer and songwriter Xavier Naidoo that’s widely regarded as his debut album (an English language album called “Seeing is Believing” was released in 1994 exclusively in the US in a limited quantity and is virtually impossible to get and has not been reissued or digitally distributed so far; it’s more of a legend, and rarely anybody got to listen to the album).

The album immediately managed to top the German charts and was certified double platinum. It initially received mixed reviews, many having had difficulties with its topics while praising the singing and production, yet the record is retrospectively seen as a classic of its genre and its artist’s discography. It was Naidoo’s national breakthrough, brought soul music on the map in Germany, and turned Xavier Naidoo to an A-list celebrity and household name overnight, with all of his following solo studio albums peaking at number one in Germany (as of 2017, not counting the albums by side projects). The album sold more than a million copies in Germany.

Musically, the album almost entirely features downtempo soul songs, often with American RnB or gospel elements. It has been produced by rapper Moses Pelham and producer Martin Haas, who also co-wrote and wrote several of the songs. Naidoo wrote the lyrics of the majority of the album himself. Many of the album’s songs have a religious tone and are about sharing values such as love and peace. This early in his career, Naidoo had the image of a Christian singer, something that is extremely unusual in German music, as religion rarely plays a bigger part in the country’s music landscape. Later on, Naidoo departed from this image and became more varied in topics, and interpolated different genres of music into his songs.

There are also two cover versions on the record: “Flugzeuge im Bauch” was originally performed by music legend Herbert Grönemeyer from his magnum opus “Bochum 4630”, and “This is Not America” was performed by David Bowie for the movie “The Falcon and the Snowman”. The latter is also the only album track not in German. The song “Sie sieht mich nicht” off the album’s deluxe edition was its most successful single release, peaking at number 2 in Germany (the other singles didn’t reach the top ten). It is a German language version of the song “Elle ne me voit pas” from the French motion picture “Asterix & Obelix Take On Caesar” used to officially promote the movie in Germany.

The Top Ten

1 Freisein (Nachtschicht am Meer) Freisein (Nachtschicht am Meer)

With a minimalistic musical outfit this song highlights Naidoo's wonderful singing as well as the magnificent melody, including sung background vocals from female rapper Sabrina Setlur. The video version contains a much more overorpduced beat, on the album the song is much calmer, without drum kits, to me the latter is a more gripping experience. - Martin_Canine

2 Sie sieht mich nicht Sie sieht mich nicht
3 Eigentlich gut Eigentlich gut
4 Seid ihr mit mir?
5 Ernten was man sät
6 20.000 Meilen
7 Nicht von dieser Welt
8 Gute Aussichten
9 Könnt ihr mich hören?

This is the only song from the album that is not clean and contains some aggressive insults. It was written by Moses Pelham and Martin Haas and doesn't lyrically fit the soft and meditative tone of the album. Nevertheless, its music sounds just great. - Martin_Canine

10 Ich Kann Dich Sehen

The Contenders

11 Flugzeuge im Bauch

Naidoo is probably the only one to have the voice and charisma to cover Herbert Grönemeyer (the most successful German music artist of all time, and he's acclaimed on top) and succeed with it. It is beautiful by both artists. - Martin_Canine

12 Führ Mich Ans Licht
13 Mich Belogen
14 Sag Es Laut
15 Seine Straßen
16 This is Not America
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