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This Has "Wind of Change" On It - 65%

DawnoftheShred, July 17th, 2009

Despite the fact that they’re Germany’s best-selling musical export, metal, rock or otherwise, there’s a surprisingly meager amount of reviews for their stuff on this site. And it seems like half of them can be credited to myself and saintinhell. No justice whatsoever for such a great band. Well…make that a once-great band, as it’s around their eleventh studio album Crazy World that I stopped buying their records and started borrowing/downloading them, simply because the quality of their releases started to decline.

As the last reviewer so justly put it, “Wind of Change” is the album’s only selling point. A touching Klaus Meine ballad about the fall of the Berlin wall (a subject that surely hit close to home, so to speak), it is hands down the band’s finest softer moment and maybe one of the best power ballads of all time. It’s endearingly simple, but little touches, like the whistling and the half-measure in the verses, make it an absolute winner in my book.

The rest? Well, the rest is the Scorpions playing “heavy metal” to the MTV crowd. The same generic rockers that began creeping into the band’s albums around Animal Magnetism and began filling them around Savage Amusement are the order of the hour. It’s still a pretty catchy album, but that doesn’t say a whole hell of a lot. After all, Ratt was catchy, weren’t they? Actually this sounds like Ratt at times (“Don’t Believe Her”), while its just Scorpions-style hair metal at others. Riffs here and there stick out, such as that “To Be With You in Heaven” verse thing, but there’s no depth to these songs. Guitar solos are trivial, songwriting is butt-simple, and Klaus barely registers a pulse on these lifeless tracks. This becomes more unfortunate in light of the band embracing the new CD format, meaning that there’s fifteen to twenty minutes more filler than on their earlier albums.

One of the only nice things about Crazy World in regards to some of the other albums of this period is the production, which displays perhaps the fullest Scorpions sound ever. Some say it’s a bit overproduced, citing the ballad “Send Me an Angel” as example, but it’s still one of the most even recordings in their catalogue. Tracks on the heavier end like “Restless Nights” get a bit more clarity than they would have otherwise. If only they weren’t so boring.

Energy, or more specifically the lack of it, is the main problem here. Had the Scorps done more than simply uphold the status quo, many of these songs could have overcome their own mediocrity and stood as highlights of the era rather than forgettable afterthoughts. Check out “Wind of Change” for sure, but be wary about the remainder.