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It's truly a shame about those Scorps. After about a decade of solid records, the mainstream media finally started to pay attention to them during the 80's, convincing the band to attempt to repeat the success of their breakthrough album, Blackout. Adopting an even more commercial sound, the following album Love at First Sting actually pulled it off, appealing to the masses while remaining heavy enough to keep their old-school fans in assent. Unfortunately, this led to an even more commercial sound on the followup to that. After all, why quit while you're ahead? Savage Amusement is why, an ashamedly typical 80's hard rock album that showcases a band that gave up trying to break ground, content instead to ride on the successes of the past.
Now admittedly, Savage Amusement isn't a terrible album. I've listened to it several times before and it's not only tolerable, but at times enjoyable. But it's the principle of the thing really. The format of every song is the exact same, following the precedent set by some of the songs on the previous album. Klaus Meine still sounds good and has plenty of nice vocal melodies, but I'll be damned if every song on this album doesn't adhere to the exact same verse-chorus-repeat-solo-outchorus structure. Even the ballady songs stick tight to this format, only the riffs change. This repetivity is unbearable and hampers this thing from beginning to end.
Despite the noticable lack of innovative songs (musically and lyrically) and one truly bad song ("Media Overkill," trendy 80's rocker), there are some glimpses of hope. Though most of the songs are mid-to-slow paced rockers, a few actually feature some decent metal riffing and "Love on the Run" is pure speed metal. Plus all of the songs are speckled with plenty of mighty fine leadwork; solos of untypical quality and quantity for the pop metal of the late 80's.
But "Love on the Run" and some fancy leadwork can't save an album this commercially marred. Only hardcore Scorpions fans might be able to appreciate this fully. I, however, will stick to the classics and pretend that this didn't happen.