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Eye II Eye is the black sheep of all Scorpions albums. The band itself even stated in an interview that they did not like this album. It is so different from everything they ever released before that nobody really dared to actually listen to the album, although there is a small group of big Eye II Eye fans scattered across the world, which I will gladly represent in this review.
As soon as opening track “Mysterious” begins to play, we are immediately shocked by what happens. First we have an overdriven guitar to play a very short riff-ish something, and then some laid back drumbeat kicks in, only to be accompanied by an immensely laid back guitar riff, and a moaning Meine on the background. What the hell? Where are those typical Scorpions hard rock driven riffs with solid drums and catchy lyrics? Instead, we get to hear some insanely relaxing shit which only gets better when you’re a bit used to it. Vocalist Klaus Meine sings with a dirty low pimp-ish voice on the verses of many songs, sounding a bit hoarsely, but in the choruses he mostly shows off his clear voice, as we’re used to. The opening track evolves into an offbeat chorus and then back into the relaxing rhythms with the after-chorus. This song sets the tone for the rest of the album and is followed by the equally laid back single “To Be No.1”, obviously repulsive to many with its techno-ish beep in between. But also this one is nothing but a diamond! Just because it is so different from all the other Scorps-tunes it stands out! The relaxing ambience continues throughout the entire album, with heavy riffing occurring on various songs like “Mind like a Tree” or “Yellow Butterfly” and sometimes even classic Scorpions riffing like on “Aleyah” and “Priscilla”.
I will discuss some of the highlights of this album, to give a better overview. There is a gem in title track “Eye to Eye”, which is very gentle, almost poppy, but so very touching a ballad. It is about the deaths of the fathers of guitarist Rudolf Schenker and vocalist Klaus Meine, and the lyrics are so beautiful and Meine’s voice is so full of emotion, though hoarse, and the ambience through the entire song... indescribable. Then there is “Skywriter”. Though its verses might not be very catchy at first, the chorus will most likely get your attention. Not to mention the great bass tune underneath. Come to think of it, that bass player, Ralph Rieckermann, is truly a star on this album. On numerous songs his colourful bass playing really stands out, for example on “Mysterious”, “Yellow Butterfly”, “10 Light Years Away” and , of course, “Skywriter”. It’s really a pity this was his latest studio album with the Scorpions. An often disliked song would also be “Freshly Squeezed”, another one of my favorites. It sounds so damn wrong in the verses that it’s actually very cool. It sounds like some attempt at being modern, cool and hip with its fast and catchy verses and the offbeat rhythm throughout the song. They probably failed at being hip or modern, but they certainly made a cool song here. Another standout would be Priscilla, with a more recognizable Scorpions touch. As you hear Klaus Meine sing about Priscilla eating all his food and him planning to kill her, it was truly funny to hear that Priscilla seemed to be a cockroach! Didn’t see that one coming.
Classic Scorpions riffing on “Aleyah” must’ve satisfied all the naysayers of this album, if they would still be listening to this album and not be turned down by its weird ambience. There is just typical 80s riffing here and the chorus is so epic, especially at the end when the normal riff is placed underneath it and the epic solo comes through. The album is closed by the piano ballad “A Moment in a Million Years”, which is an emotional thank you to the fans. A great way to close the album, and I think most fans would appreciate the thanks after the ‘torture’ of this album. Only some fans, like me, will notice that the end song is just speaking up for what the entire album is.
As usual in my reviews of black sheep and hidden gems, here’s to the naysayers. Eye II Eye is not the typical 80s hair metal you are used to on albums like Love at First Sting, Blackout or Crazy World. This album is unique in its own way, and you can only see it if you manage to let go of what you wish. You can’t love this album if you hate it for what it isn’t, but you will if you can see it for what it is: the best Scorpions album ever recorded.
Strongest tracks: “Mysterious”, “Eye to Eye”, “Freshly Squeezed” and “Aleyah”.
Weakest tracks or fillers: NONE!
I’ll admit it, 90’s pop music isn’t really my specialty. Even as a child, I never really had an ear for it: the super catchy vocal hooks, the sugary sweet sing-along nature of it all, the dance-beat baloney that every 90’s group was so fond of; I needed some heavy guitars and forceful drums destroying my adolescent ears, dammit! I was clearly fated to be a metal fan, so I spent as little time as possible listening to the fluff. As such, I can’t really say that I’m qualified to be reviewing the stuff and I never really planned on it, until I stumbled upon this bastard of a Scorpions album. Perhaps if I could review it as a pop album I could be more gracious, but as this is the Metal Archives and the Scorpions are (were) a metal band, I think it’s safe to say that it eats gargantuan donkey dick and stands undisputedly as the band’s worst album
Eye II Eye is the Scorpions gone AOR, shedding any metal edge they had left for wuss-rock leanings not far removed from things that U2 have done, not to mention Bush (remember “The Chemicals Between Us?” Anyone?”) or any number of 90’s pop rockers. Tired of diminished album sales I’m sure, the once awe-inspiring Germans adopt a Euro-trash image fit with techno drum beats, gimmicky sound effects (that little ‘boop’ in “To Be No. 1” is my representative), and a harmless guitar tone. Solos have been pulled back to novelty status, Klaus’ vocal melodies are saccharine and equally inoffensive. Even their already suffering ballads somehow get worse, with uber-pop like “Obsession” only a hair above similar material by…without exaggeration….the Backstreet Boys. I understand the band still defends this thing, saying that despite its experimental nature, it’s still a traditional Scorpions album at heart. Granted, there are glimmers of heavy metal in certain riffs, such as in “Yellow Butterfly” or “Mind Like a Tree,” but they are glimmers only, without any substance. It’s 99.9% fluff kids, the kind of CD your mother would ask you to burn for her, while you shake your head and vow to never listen to anything this shameful ever again.
OSS nailed it: Eye II Eye is one of the worst albums from an otherwise metal band you could hope to find. No more elaboration is really needed. If you had any respect for the Scorps of the past, you can happily forget this piece of shit ever existed.
Look, I know that many found this album way too avant-garde and diverse to receive it as it stood, but my story with this album is somewhat different.
When I first bought this album, I despised it. I hated nearly everything about it. I liked the first song, and fleeting moments of the rest of the disc, but really, I just plain did not get it. I had no idea what the mighty Scorpions were doing here. I put it out my sight for months. Then, one day, after I had listened to enough death metal to kill my lawn, I decided for a change of pace, I would give it another chance.
After another listen, and then another, this album became one of my all time faves, and even makes my desert island collection. Why? Simple. It's different. It's rocky, it's insightful, and it's new. Fresh. The guitar sounds are fresh. The lyrics are for adults. The songwriting shows piles of care and experience.
The album opens with the brilliant "Mysterious", which would be a welcome listen to any Scorpions fan. It's riffy, rocky, with a catchy hookline and very well crafted lyrics. A great track. The following tune, the single "To Be No.1", when I first heard it, I thought it sounded like no.2 (if you know what I mean), almost George Michael in sounds, but really, this song rocks and has hilarious lyrics. It's just not traditional power metal. The next few songs are complete ballad mania, but these tunes are nothing short of exemplary. The Title track may indeed be the most profound thing the Scorps have ever penned. Brilliant, insightful words well dedicated to sentimental losses.
The rest of the album has tunes which may take some time to get used to, and although they rock, they certainly tread new ground. I think this is the whole point. Perhaps the Scorpions are way too ahead of their time, in some kind of unique, quirky way to be accesable to their somewhat less than imaginitive typical demographic.
I've grown to love this album. It took some time to "get it", but once I did, it took hold of me and hasn't let go.
I'd like to start by saying that I love Scorpions. Their 70's material is godly, and their 80's stuff up until Savage Amusement is absolutely indispensable. How then, did they manage to become one of the worst bands on the planet afterwards?
First of all, the thing in between the two Eye's is not the word "to", it's a fucking II as in the letter two. We all know what that means. Look everyone, it's a desperate attempt to look hip! You've seen every washed up band try it, but Scorpions some how manage to take this already off-putting concept and turn it into pure agony. What possessed them to put ELECTRONIC DRUMS IN EVERY SONG?! I don't mean skullcrushing, inhuman, and highly technical blastbeats, I mean softer-than-soft rock swinging shit that you could do on your goddamn PC. This is literally an attempt by the Scorps to release a dance album. Good God almighty, why?!
You'd be hard-pressed to find a more lifeless album in any catalogue, by any band. Every other song is a fucking 90's Bon Jovi ballad or an unspeakably awful mid-tempo track that attempts to have some "funk". The Scorpions are a German power/trad/hair metal band, and they groove like crap and rightly so. James Kottak(WHO?!) is alledgedly the drummer on the disaster, and if he isn't frothing at the mouth at this all-out hack-job of his work, than he is less metal than Fred Durst. In fact, Kottak doesn't even play on a lot of the songs, and when he does it's always mixed with these fucking bizarre "percussion" noises underneath, around and over the live drums. Watch "Obsession" a decent-ish power ballad hamstrung before your eyes and turned into some truly atrocious 'R&B'.
The first song title that's actually written in German in the entire Scorps catalogue is also one of the worst. "Du Bist So Schmutzig" is so AWFUL that it makes me sick. Did you ever in your worst nightmares think that Scorpions would try to rap? These guys make James LaBrie look like fucking Chuck D. I can't get over how bad this stuff is! Jabs tries valiantly to inject some of the classic style into the proceedings through-out the records with a few maudlin solo's, but the wonky production and lets be honest, horrific song-writing make his efforts worthless. And since when is Klaus Meine a pop-star? That little gnome is one of the most physically repulsive frontmen in mainstream rock, who the hell does he think he is singing pap like "Mysterious"? The man was once the shrieking epitome of Euro-metal on songs like "Virgin Killer", what the hell happenned?
Even the cover art upsets me. Oooh, it's arty. It's like they think they're Kratwerk or something. However, like that band the lyrics have never been the focus, it's been the music. HOWEVER, whoever wrote the lyrics on this record should be ashamed of themselves. "To Be No.1"? You guys haven't been that in at least ten years. "Freshly Squeezed"? Lame attempt to rip off "The Lemon Song", one of the lamest songs in existence. "What U Give U Give Back"? BLARG! GRALB! Why is it so hard to spell the word "you"? I guess it's supposed to be trendy and cool, but there's no excuse for this tripe from a metal band dammit.
Verdict? Woefully unhip dance/pop that will turn your stomach, decay your mind, and fill you with more anger than a whole heap of death metal records. Avoid at all costs.