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A lot of the European vocal pop groups shy away from anything vaguely resembling irony. But here, the singing is so obviously focused on storytelling — mostly humorous — in German (with one unfortunate exception: ).

This Teutonic industrial track is just what you've always wanted from Germany (where "apocalypse" rhymes with "callypso"! Without the language skills to understand the German stories, the songs are pleasant but pointless. On the other hand, if you're looking for a reason to study German, you could do worse than by starting here.

It's somehow shinier, poppier and bouncier than everything that follows. Yes, the leads deliver pitch perfection and solid comic delivery — and generally avoid showing us their weaknesses.

I think it synthesizes most of what High Five was going for, and the group should be proud of it. Nonetheless, one must address the "elefant im Zimmer." Most of RARB's readers don't speak German.

22 November 1963 Intercutting dramatic vignettes with newsreel footage, the story follows the characters from an infantry squad as they make their way from Sicily to Germany during the end of World War II.

03 June 1985 The Two Lives of Mattia Pascal is based on Le Deux Vite di Mattia Pascal, one of Luigi Pirandello's many stories concerning the transitory nature of the intangibles "Truth" and "Identity" Marcello Mastrioanni is a downtrodden average man, treated like trash by his fiancee, scorned by his associates, and cheated out of his inheritance by contemptuous relatives.

High Five is a delight to encounter, a shiny happy package of songs and energy that is a pleasant antidote to any American angst that ails you.

The group has assembled a 15-song package of mostly original music that is consistently well performed and also shows a fair bit of musical range.

Regarded by critics as one of the greatest actresses of the post-war period, and frequently named as one of the leading German-speaking actresses in polls, Berger has received many award nominations for her acting in theatre, film and television; her awards include three Bambi Awards, two Romys, an Adolf Grimme Award, both a Deutscher and a Bayerischer Fernsehpreis, and a Goldene Kamera.When it comes to non-English-language a cappella, there has to be something besides the lyrics to grab the attention of an English-only listener.Crazy vocal gymnastics, impossibly high solo lines, revelatory arrangements and cool studio wizardry are the hallmarks of world-renowned European ensembles like Rajaton, basix and the Real Group.The music (not speaking German, I won't claim to have studied up on the words) is a mix of pop, rock, and novelty. And it's nice to listen to a small a cappella rock group for a change instead of a big collegiate the perfect pop song, smartly placed at the top of the set. Yes, the album is chock full of seamless ensemble singing.

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