After a Corona break: stories and feelings - "Personal" by Pur

Hartmut Engler had to endure for a long time.

After a Corona break: stories and feelings - "Personal" by Pur

Hartmut Engler had to endure for a long time. The Pur frontman sat in his apartment, the corona pandemic in front of the door, his head full of thoughts and worries. Above all, full of longing for the exchange with the fans, with his band, with the outside world. All of that, the fear and the lust and the longing for the big stage, is reflected in the songs on the band's new, bulging album.

It is already the 17th Pur studio work and the friends from Bietigheim-Bissingen near Stuttgart have remained true to themselves: "Personal" are the thoughts, memories and images that have accompanied them and that they want to share in the album of the same name. In a typical Pur style, emotional, sometimes warning, but always hopeful, aiming at brain and heart, sometimes cheesy, certainly not for every taste, but exactly what the fans should expect from them after the Corona break.

Also serious issues part of the new album

Again there are hymns for the performance in front of the masses, love songs and one or the other piece that, shaped by the time of the pandemic and the more recent political world situation, is socially critical but optimistic. "It is not an album that I will say in ten years that it is a difficult pandemic Putin album," says Engler in an interview with the German Press Agency. "Of course we have to address these issues after such a time, that can't be avoided. But we also tried not to overdo it."

Even after four decades, Pur is undisputedly one of the best-known and most popular musicians in the country. The 16 new songs are a reminder that there is more to Engler and the band than the extremely popular enthusiasms of "Abenteuerland" and "Funkel Perlenaugen", which are ridiculed by some but sung by millions in arenas or in living rooms.

Couldn't cope with the Corona situation

On "Personal" they risk positioning themselves clearly with one or the other song. "That's what Pur fans expect from us too," says Engler. "They're excited about all the songs, about the whole album, and they get a complete overview there."

In "Full Being" we are reminded of "the time of the transposed digits, the skeptics, the bad advisers, the mental hackers" that afflicted people. "What has become of us, sluggish herd, dreary army," Engler continues, the stories are missing, the tenderness, the human being must be "full" of love and joy.

"I couldn't cope with the overall situation at all," says the 60-year-old, summing up his very private Corona phase, this time when he couldn't write any texts and felt isolated. "Certainly I don't have to play 150 concerts a year anymore. But I need a goal that I can look forward to."

not lost hope

A goal that Engler seems to have missed for a long time. In one song he calls for the missing "good mood", in another he encourages the isolated, downtrodden to love themselves and allow feelings so as not to become "immune" to other people. In the dark phases of the pandemic, he too “was no longer really in touch with other people” and preferred to stay at home. "Because I didn't like myself," he says.

But pure wouldn't be pure without the great feeling. Engler dedicated a sensitive love song to his long-term fiancée Katrin, melancholic farewell memories to the former drummer Martin Stoeck after his death ("Herzensgut") and the gift of a million-year-old meteorite gave Engler reason for a song and thoughts about the existence of mankind.

Engler doesn't want to comment on everything and everyone: "I don't have something to say about everything and everyone, it has to be right and I have to find it important." As important as the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine: "In the first few days I was just in the mood for the end of the world," said Engler. "I thought: this madness is destroying everything we've been holding on to." Later he wrote the quite hopeful appeal to "A good morning".

The long wait for the tour should be over

Engler has been on stage with Pur for four decades now. From the basement of the local Swabian parish, they worked their way up from the mid-1970s, landing their first single chart success in 1990 with "Lena". A few years later, "Abenteuerland" (1995) became one of the best-selling German-language albums with two million copies. "Seseilänzertraum" stayed in the album charts for more than 120 weeks.

The Swabian pop band is still planning an album every three years, followed by a tour. It would have been the same again in 2021, but the virus intervened. Now it should be ready in the coming year.