Acclaimed Albums – Neon Golden by The Notwist

List item: Listen to the 1000 Most Acclaimed Albums
Progress: 339/1000
Title: Neon Golden
Artist: The Notwist
Year: 2002

It’s a bit of a busy week at work, so originally I was going to go for an easy win album. However, things are only going to get worse over the next few months so I ended up picking this album from the 00s almost at random. I just liked the idea of listening to another artist with just one album in the Top 1000.

Great music comes from anywhere. An artist you have never heard of before can suddenly swoop in with an album that you love immediately and slots in with your taste and mood exactly. Neon Golden isn’t just that, but also would be a sure thing to rank within my top albums of 2021 had it been released this year. 

I would have been 12-13 when Neon Golden came out; way before I really started looking at music review websites. Even then, I probably wouldn’t have picked up on this as even now I don’t think I have ever seen this band’s name until I scrolled down my list. 

This is the album that should have been huge in the same way that The Postal Service was. There’s a very similar feel in the music in how they are fusing indie with electronic elements, it’s just that they didn’t have the killer single. It probably would have counted against them being German rather than American or British, despite Neon Golden predating Give Up by a year.

Parts of my musical taste now, rather than back in 2002, fits so well into Neon Golden that it is almost scary. This album makes me think that this is what an indie rock band taking on elements of all these artists that gravitate around my more folky loves (including Andrew Bird, early Sufjan Stevens) and some more electronic music like Owen Pallett  could sound like. 

The closing track ‘Consequence’ is beyond gorgeous in it’s melancholy, contrasting with ‘Pick Up The Phone’ and ‘One Of The Freaks’ are filled with brilliant beats like you’d find in a more upbeat xx song. I cannot stop listening to this album and it’s been a few days. This is stunning and why I wanted to do this list. Feels so amazing to have uncovered an album that is just so excellent.

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