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Fall Album Roundup : Falco's Teutonic Rap

November 23, 1986|STEVE HOCHMAN

"EMOTIONAL." Falco. Sire. The front cover casts Falco as a Tom Jones figure (the singer, that is), while the back has him in Napoleonic imperial regalia. No surprise there--after all, this is the guy who took on Mozart with last spring's No.1 overkill "Rock Me Amadeus." The songs on the record inside, though, show this Austrian purveyor of Teutonic rap displaying a new-found sense of subtlety and wit.

The title song gets the album off to a great start with our hero begging on bended knees as a female chorus goes, "Ooh, he's emotional / He's an emotional man." That Falco later pulls off real emotions in "Coming Home" (a sequel to last year's "Jeanny") makes "Emotional's" parody even sharper.

Of course, there's plenty of the arch German / English speak-sing style Falco established a few years ago with "Der Kommissar." But even this is toyed with to entertaining effect in "Crime Time," with a brassy musical setting more evocative of a '60s variety show than an '80s dance floor. Such clumsy political diatribes as "Cowboyz and Indianz" (a simplistic evaluation of the superpower face-off) and the anti-Yup "Les Nouveaux Riches," however, are total failures.

But it's the final cut that puts this collection over the top. With a street-rap beat and tongue firmly in, um, cheek, "The Kiss of Kathleen Turner" could be the novelty song of the year. In it, the fantasy smack is anticipated with comparisons to such great Earth-shakers as Hiroshima and Chernobyl. Pleads Falco, "I'm just talking about not the first kiss of my life / I'm talking about . . . our planet . . . Kathleen!"

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