Album: Computer World
Artist: Kraftwerk
Label: Elektra
Released: 1981
Summary: A nostalgic glimpse into the home computer era.

Computer World isn't just a nice album to listen to, it's a glimpse into the era in which it was created. Through its sparse lyrics, it reminds you how revolutionary computers once seemed, leaving you nostalgic for the feeling of empowerment you got from having a microcomputer in your own home. At the same time, the sounds themselves reflect the aesthetic of using only synthetic instruments, showing the benefits of modern technology. While this isn't a particularly surprising stance from the group who created an album called Radio-Activity, about both electromagnetic and nuclear radiation, it's nice to hear songs about embracing rather than simply fearing new technology.

For an electronic album, it has a surprisingly charming, charismatic feel to it. You can tell that all of the keyboards were played by hand, a stark contrast to most subsequent electronic music. While the quality of the original master tape itself has one or two iffy moments (at least, that's the case with the CD version), if anything, that just adds to its idiosyncratic nature. There's a warm, friendly feeling to this album that definitely hasn't worsened with age.

The track Computer Love is worth a particular mention, as it features an astonishingly beautiful melody played by hand on a synthesiser. The ad lib at the end of the song stretches the track to over seven minutes, but it's so good that it feels like hardly any time has passed.

This is both a great album and a historical one, considering how much it has influenced other musicians and how much it has been sampled and covered. I'd recommend it to anyone interested in electronic music, especially the history of it.