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On this album, we find Scorpions at their most accessible. Lush production, catchy songs, infectious melodies, and generally peppy and happy tracks dominate this record. I know many people write this album off as pop metal trash, but, with an open mind, I think this record could appeal to the majority of the Scorpions audience.
The record opens with my personal favorite, "Don't Stop At the Top". Searing guitar melodies catapult this song into your eardrums, vocal harmonies and fluffy lyrics make this song an instant Scorpions classic. Worthy of note in this song are the soaring vocals of Klaus Meine, and the excellent leads of Matthias Jabs.
Then the album falters a bit. For being a single, Rhythm of love is sorta lame and predictable. Not much to say on this one, doesn't do much for me. Thankfully, the one-two shot of "Passion" and "Media Overkill" are bouncy and interesting enough to reignite my interest, good songs.
The songs are solid from here on out, maybe not quite as memorable as past material, but still well written and worth a listen. Then we're blindsided by "Love on the Run", and the excellent mix of speed/power metal riffing knocks this album on it's ass. The perfect insertion, smashing into your consciousness just as interest begins to waver again. The track order on this album is well thought out.
Now that we're paying attention again, we can really appreciate the last track for what it is; your typical Scorpions ballad. It's good, it's happy, it makes you reach for your lighter; it does what it's supposed to, without being particularly sappy.
This album is not groundbreaking, it's not genre revitalizing, and it's not the Scorpions best 80's work. It is, however, a solid pop metal album, with enough hooks to keep the average listener entertained. Should we expect more? I don't think so, Scorpions pulled another good album out of the bag, and given the length they'd been around at this point, I think it's silly to write it off for being formulaic. It's called playing your strengths.