Metascore
73

Generally favorable reviews - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 21
  2. Negative: 0 out of 21
  1. Not quite what we might have hoped for from such historically important innovators. But not quite as bad as it appears, either.
  2. All in all, the release probably would have worked better as an extended EP instead of nearly an hourlength rumination on one track and ideas that spawned from it.
  3. Their latest LP may not pack the same fortune-telling punch of their classic records, but it is nevertheless a distinctly engaging, sophisticated experience.
  4. In essence, the group has adopted the smartest possible approach on Tour de France Soundtracks by simply making quintessential Kraftwerk music of a kind stylistically consistent with the music of its past but with subtle enhancements that suggest a connection to the present.
  5. Tour de France Soundtracks is a successful record on anyone's terms; it's one that fans won't need to cringe from, and one that newcomers will be able to enjoy for what it is.
  6. No, it's probably not going to remap the musical landscape this time, and, arguably, it doesn't sound as ahead of its time as, say, 'Computerworld' did. BUT! 'Tour de France Soundtracks' also sounds joyously, shamelessly like no-one else at all.
  7. If you're the sort who would feel fuddy-duddy driving a perfect, new VW Beetle, avoid Tour de France. If you're one who would proudly point out the offbeat grace and unlikely persistence of a vivid personality in a machine, Kraftwerk endure.
  8. The old masters have aged gracefully with the times: no longer following or leading the techno/electronic movement, but rather operating within their own realm of digitally manufactured bliss.
  9. Has all the hallmarks of classic Kraftwerk.
  10. Fans will appreciate Tour De France's high standard of unadorned synthesis, thematic melody and Autobahn minimalism, with epiphanic pleasure and not a little nostalgia.
  11. The concept itself is an interesting one. When it works, it is easy to conjure TV images of Hinault and LeMonde battling through the Pyrenees, the patterned rhythms of Indurain and Armstrong heaving through village street time-trials.
  12. There's more to Tour De France Soundtracks than a simple remake of the past.
  13. Sounds like a flashback to the early eighties that at times is an adjustment to modern-shaped ears. [#5, p.101]
  14. 79
    They remain simple and cerebral. [#7, p.91]
  15. 80
    No huge amounts of new ground broken... but even a mediocre Kraftwerk album is still a work of near-genius. [Sep 2003, p.101]
  16. 70
    A slight disappointment. [Oct 2003, p.124]
  17. 60
    None of it is groundbreaking. [Oct 2003, p.120]
  18. There are moments where the glory years are emulated.... Even so, after 17 long years, both band and audience deserve better than a wandful of magic and some rehashes. [Oct 2003, p.102]
  19. Mostly stuck in a low gear. [Dec 2003, p.156]
  20. 50
    The deadpan humor that animated the band's early werk is missing. [Nov 2003, p.117]
  21. Displays more intellectual rigour, subtle discipline and attention to detail than many of their younger contemporaries can ever dream of attaining. [#235, p.56]
User Score
8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 8 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 5
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 5
  3. Negative: 1 out of 5
  1. LeonardoF
    Aug 3, 2005
    10
    an instant classic
  2. MichaelA
    Jul 10, 2004
    10
    I must start by telling you that I have every Kraftwerk album including their very rare pre-Autobahn work (no gimmicky spelling, folks). Being a musician myself I've spent time aplenty studying the itty-bitty details of each and this is the conclusion I've been led to: Tour de France Sountracks is right up there with KW's very best. TDFS is like a trip on the autobahn of KW's evolution and there are plenty of pit-stops; you can hear the experimentation of their earliest albums, the hard proto-electro sounds of Trans-Europe Express and Man Machine and the thematic complexity of Radioactivity (which may be the best comparison of all; listen closely). Of course, all of this is wrapped up in the shiny pop-bliss of Computer World's best moments. Technologically, they're still the most up-to-date robots on the market but they haven't lost their taste or subtlety or charm. Critics may have been underwhelmed upon Kraftwerk's newest release but I beleive time will prove this to be one of their greatest moments. Let's hope they don't take so bloody long next time! Danke, Ralf und Florian, danke!!! Full Review »
  3. GuyS
    Aug 17, 2003
    9
    Finally Kraftwerk comes with a brand new album. And it sounds great! It's very daring to come back with a new album after 13 years, when the music you make was the most important inspirational source of almost every musician making elctronic dance related music. With this album, Kraftwerk proves once again that there is still no other pop-group that sounds like them! The tracks are very minimalisitc again, some with a truly grate flow like Aero Dynamik and Electro Kardiogramm. Also Tour de France Etappe 1-3 are very great. Gladly it's not really a remake of the original, since it sounds totally different. It's therefore best to be considered as a brand new track. The famous vocoder voices are plenty at presence, like it should be because Kraftwerk wouldn't be Kraftwerk without those great robotic voices. Of course there are also some new melodical sounds used, but the music sounds as mysterious and high-tech as ever! A truly great album which I like more and more! Let's hope we don't have to wait for another 13 years for their next album! Guy Sweens Full Review »