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REALLY DAMN CATCHY - 80%

Nhorf, July 2nd, 2008

Yes, the catchiness is the main charcteristic of this record. It's incredible how the Scorpions know how to write infectious choruses and guitar riffs. Really, after hearing this album I had almost every chorus of “Blackout” in my head... Yeah, it's that damn catchy!

Klaus Meine, with his distinctive voice, is one of the most important musicians on this album. He has an amazing range and voice, and that impresses me even more because he had some kind of problem in his throat during the recording of “Blackout”. It's really spectacular how he still sounds amazingly well with his throat damaged. The two guitar players are also very good on this album, playing catchy guitar riff after catchy guitar riff. The solos are all memorable too (have I already mentioned that this record is very very CATCHY?). The drumming is very predictable and simple, unfortunately, and the bass inaudible on the majority of the songs (meh). The lyrics are.. Well, you certainly don't expect good lyrics from Scorpions, do you?

This record is flawed though. It's main flaw is the lack of variety, since every song follows the same structure and every tune is very focused on the choruses, so better don't expect any interesting instrumental sections within them. The only song that really is a bit more ambitious and complex than the others is “China White”, the longest and heaviest track of “Blackout”. That track absolutely screams “heavy metal!”, thanks to the crushing and powerful guitar work. Really, the riffage would make Sabbath (or Priest) proud.

The title track is among the stand-outs too, a powerful song driven by the crazy vocal acrobacies of an inspired Meine. “Dynamite” is an absolutely essential song too, I just love the parts where Klaus is singing just accompanied by the dynamic drum work... great stuff, indeed. “Now” is a nice little headbangable piece too. Finally, “Can't Live without You” is another relatively aggressive song, but definitely the weakest of the bunch.

The remaining three tunes, “You Give Me All I Need”, “No one Like You” and “When the Smoke is Going Down”, are definitely calmer than the afore-mentioned songs, but only the latter can be labeled as a true ballad. The first two very weak, unfortunatey, mainly because I don't like their choruses, I think both are extremelly annoying. On other hand, “When the Smoke is Going Down” is very underrated, an amazing little emotional tune that works perfectly well as the closer, after the bone crushing “China White”.

So, a good catchy metal album, all in all. The two flaws of it are the lack of durability and variety. After listening to this record five times, I've never touched it again, that can give you an idea of the poor durability of “Blackout”. An influential and important record, though, if you like early heavy metal/hard rock check this out, this might interest you.
One last word to the production, which is pretty damn good if you bear in mind that “Blackout” was recorded during 1982.

Best Moments of the CD:
-the first time the heavy riffs of “China White” are played.
-the chorus of “When the Smoke is Going Down”, sung by an emotional Klaus Meine.
-the parts of “Dynamite” where we just hear Klaus singing, accompanied by the drum lines.