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Scorpions
Unbreakable
July 2004
Released: 2004, Sanctuary Records
Rating: 3.8/5
Reviewer: Lord of the Wasteland

As the Scorpions head into their fourth decade as a band, they have seen incredible changes in the musical landscape. Disco, metal, pop, grunge…all have come and gone out of fashion since they released their first album, LONESOME CROW, way back in 1972. Still, the Scorpions have soldiered on, never really wavering from their tried and true sound. Beginning with 1979’s LOVEDRIVE, the 80s were their glory years (WORLD WIDE LIVE is still one of the best metal live albums ever recorded) but the mid- to late 90s weren’t kind to the German rockers and their last studio album, 1999’s EYE II EYE, saw them fail miserably by incorporating electronic sampled passages and Europop. Some dabbling with unplugged records and symphonies showed signs of a band trying to find its place, but fortunately, the Scorpions have returned with a vengeance on UNBREAKABLE, their best album since 1991’s CRAZY WORLD. The band can still write a catchy melody and when I saw The Scorpions opening for Motley Crue in August 1999, they blew the crumbling band off the stage. Not bad for a bunch of guys in their mid-50s! When the Scorpions announced they were going back in the studio to record an album more in line with their “classic” sound, I was a bit wary. Was this a publicity-driven pitch to bring back the fans that were ostracized by EYE II EYE or had forgotten the band during the last fifteen years? UNBREAKABLE has definitely silenced the skeptic in me, as it is a welcome return to form for this legendary band.



“New Generation” gets things started with a chorus reminiscent of “The Zoo.” The twin guitar onslaught of Rudolf Schenker and Matthias Jabs wraps itself around this track, while a children’s choir closes out the song. The lyrics are poignant, much like “Wind of Change,” and shows that the band still remains socially conscious. “Love `Em or Leave `Em” continues the pace with Klaus Meine’s still powerful voice hitting all the highs he is known for. Jabs’ solo is quite good here, too. “Deep and Dark” features an interesting chorus and a blistering solo from Jabs. These first three songs are pure Scorpions circa 1984-1990, but with a modern twist. Unfortunately, the power is lost with “Borderline” and “Blood Too Hot.” These tracks are boring, uninspired and, with the exception of Meine’s screams and wails at the tail end of the latter, are completely forgettable. What would a Scorpions album be without a ballad? Like “Coming Home” from LOVE AT FIRST STING, “Maybe I Maybe You” starts off as a quiet piano ballad before the guitars move in around 2:25 to get things happening. This song rates right up with classic Scorpions ballads like “Still Loving You” and “Holiday.” “My City My Town” is one of the catchiest songs I’ve heard in a long time and they could easily release this as a single to radio. I cannot get the chorus out of my head! “Through My Eyes” follows and with the signature Scorpions guitar sound and ripping solos, it is one of the standouts on the CD. The same can be said for “This Time.” “Can You Feel It” utilizes a voice box effect that The Scorpions claimed as their on own on “The Zoo” way back in 1980. In a further nod to their longevity, the band asks fans to "Remember the Good Times" in a history lesson on the 1960s.



UNBREAKABLE should bring back some disillusioned fans after the EYE II EYE debacle. This is a straight-ahead hard rock record and the Scorpions can hold their heads high for returning to a pure rock sound. Admittedly, there is less “oomph” than there was on, say BLACKOUT or LOVE AT FIRST STING, but those albums were released twenty years ago. Still, Klaus Meine’s voice is in top form, the Schenker/Jabs duo is as powerful as ever and the Scorpions can celebrate 32 years as a band with a strong release sure to please long-time fans.



KILLER KUTS: “New Generation,” “Love ‘Em or Leave `Em,” “My City My Town,” “Through My Eyes,” “This Time”
Track Listing

1. New Generation
2. Love 'Em or Leave 'Em
3. Deep and Dark
4. Borderline
5. Blood Too Hot
6. Maybe I Maybe You
7. Someday is Now
8. My City My Town
9. Through My Eyes
10. Can You Feel It
11. This Time
12. She Said
13. Remember the Good Times (Retro Garage Mix)
14. Dreamers (Japanese Bonus Track)
15. Too Far (Japanese Bonus Track)

Lineup

Klaus Meine—Vocals
Rudolf Schenker—Guitar
Matthias Jabs—Guitar
Pawel Maciwoda/Barry Sparks/Ingo Powitzer—Bass
James Kottak—Drums


Next review: » Scorpions - Unbreakable
Previous review: » Scorpions - MTV Unplugged In Athens

Scorpions
Unbreakable
July 2004
Released: 2004, Sanctuary Records
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Celtic Bob

German Hard Rockers return with an excellent album. This is their first for Sanctuary Records. Being a very casual fan of theirs I was somewhat interested in hearing this cd. When I popped it into my player I was pleasantly surprised. This is the best thing I’ve heard from them since themed 80’s when songs like “Rock You Like A Hurricane” and “Big City Nights” ruled the airwaves.

The disc starts off with a mid tempo rocker which is a fairly good indication of what to expect from the disc but is a bit mellower than what I was used to. It is a far cry from the sappy ballads that they did in the 90’s. They have returned to the greatness of earlier albums like BLACKOUT and LOVE AT FIRST STING which is refreshing to hear. The album contains killer cuts such as “New Generation”, “Love ‘em or Leave ‘em” and “”Can You Feel It”. There is even an amazing piano laden balled entitled “Maybe I Maybe You” which is simply amazing. This is one of the best ballads I’ve heard in a long time.

This cd features some great guitar work from Jabs and Schenker and Klaus proves that his vocals are stronger now then ever. This disc will win back some fans they lost in the past few years and will definitely gain a few new ones. This is the way an album should be.
Track Listing

New Generation
Love 'em Or Leave 'em
Deep And Dark
Borderline
Blood Too Hot
Maybe I Maybe You
Someday Is Now
My City My Town
Through My Eyes
Can You Feel It
This Time
She Said
Remember The Good Times

Lineup

• Klaus Meine: Vocals
Rudolf Schenker
Matthias Jabs: Guitar
James Kottak: Drums
Pawel Maciwoda: Bass

Contact

N/A


Next review: » Scorpions - Unbreakable
Previous review: » Scorpions - MTV Unplugged In Athens

Scorpions
Unbreakable
July 2004
Released: 2004, Sanctuary
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: JP

Three words come to mind with the Scorpions, class, integrity and fun. In the late 90’s the band announced they were going to deliver a few different CD’s and true to their word they did. A trio of shall we say experimental sounds for the band ( a modern rock CD (Eye to Eye) and Acoustic CD (Acoustica) and a Symphony CD (Moment of Glory). They also said it was time to deliver a real rocking CD and with class integrity and fun, the scorpions have delivered.



This is destined to be a great summer release and I predict over time will become a favorite in the bands extensive catalogue. Although James Kottack has been around the band for many years, he and new bassist Pawel inject a sense of young dynamic fun. Counterbalancing this nicely is the trio of Jabs, Meine and Schenker who delivered tried and true Scorpions songs and sounds. There is a perfect blend of world weariness as the band in reality has seen it all and done it all but accepts their role as elder statesmen of metal with good grace and style and a willingness to have yet another go. This sentiment seems to be reflected in many of the lyrics which touch on age, change, transition and time. The Scorpions know their place and are not going to try to out-gun any younger band but will do what they do best.



Great package, cool embossed cover, simple layout, some nice shots, good title, great production, good value with 13 tracks and an enhanced component…UNBREAKABLE has it all. Oddly enough the bonus track, ‘Remember The Good Times’ is my favorite on this one. The songs are catchy, fun sophisticated and warm. The Scorpions are truly unbreakable.
Track Listing

1. New Generation
2. Love ‘Em or Leave ‘Em
3. Deep and Dark
4. Borderline
5. Blood Too Hot
6. Maybe I, Maybe I
7. Someday Is Now
8. My City My Town
9. Through My Eyes
10. Can You Feel It
11. This Time
12. She Said
Remember The Good Times

Lineup

Klaus Meine-Vocals
Rudolph schenker-guitar
Matthias Jabs-guitar
Pawel Maciwoda-bass
James Kottack-drums

Contact

N/A


Next review: » Scott Mosher - Inferno
Previous review: » Scorpions - MTV Unplugged In Athens





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