Review: Goldfinger – 99 Red Balloons (Rock)

This review covers the punk rock track Goldfinger – 99 red Balloons.

This track was released in 2000 on the album Stomping Ground.

The track starts with a few guitar reverse notes. There’s some more normal notes along with some subtle reverse drum hits. Shortly after, the vocals come in backed by some of those guitars. A second guitar joins the track.

From there, a cymbal crash hits, a 303 bassline note hits, and the lead guitars come in. A full drum kit joins the track.

After that, the vocals take the track into part of a main chorus mixed with a verse. This is capped off with a short guitar solo.

Some of the lead guitars drop off as the vocals go into the next verse. There is some EQ filtering briefly on the vocals. After that, the vocals take the track into the main chorus. From there, an instrumental section takes over for a bit.

From there, the vocals return to speak German. I assume this is both a verse and main chorus, but I can’t tell for sure from listening alone. This is capped off with an instrumental. The 303 bassline note leads this section out.

After that, the vocals come back with the more acoustic guitar. A filtered drum kit then leads the track out along with the 303 synth bassline note.

One thing I do like a lot about this track is that it has a lot of great energy. It has a very fun emotion throughout mostly thanks to the lyrics, but in part because of the lead guitars as well. This is very well realized.

Something I have mixed feelings on is the duel languages going on. Most of it is in English, but parts of it are in German. On the one hand, it’s really neat hearing a second language in a track. On the other hand, unless you speak both English and German, you won’t really be able to fully appreciate the full meaning of the track. I think it would have been better if you had one version that is full English (which actually does exist) and one version that is full German. Package both together and sell it that way in my personal opinion.

A problem I do have with the track is the beginning. There is a guitar section that seems to build up before suddenly getting cut. Now, I am familiar with album mixing. Sometimes, you can have the end of the previous track appear in the start of the next track. That way, when you are listening to it on CD, you can get a much smoother listening experience instead of tracks being segmented out. Having said that, I don’t think the sudden cut makes a whole lot of sense at the beginning. It’s not smoothly fading out or ending in some logical way. Instead, it’s a sharp cut which makes that section of the track out of place. I would advocate getting rid of that altogether.

Overall, though, I am a fan of this track. It’s got a lot going for it. The guitars sound great and the vocals are nicely done. The intro is awkward and the duel languages is something I’m not sure about. Still, I’d say this is a track well worth listening to.


Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Facebook.

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