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Energetic German hard rock - 80%

ViciousFriendlyFish, May 1st, 2014

Scorpions had been around for a while before they released what would become one of their most successful albums, and arguably their last great album, Crazy World. They had a lot of good bluesy albums in the 70s with Uli Jon Roth in the fold, and following his departure began making albums that shifted further away from a blues influence and focused on straight hard rock, producing classics such as "Rock You like a Hurricane". This musical direction culminated in this 1990 release, which has proved itself as a vital hard rock / traditional metal release, nothing more, nothing less.

This album features all the elements you would expect in a successful rock album: memorable catchy choruses (particularly "Tease Me, Please Me" and "Send Me an Angel", featuring lyrics that stick in your mind for a good while even after just one or two listens"), powerful riffs and melodies, and energetic vocals (You've got to love vocalist Klaus Meine's German accent) and the band utilises these very well and lets the listener in for a treat. Production wise it isn't too different from many of the hard rock and heavy metal albums being released in the late 80s and early 90s, meaning it sounds more polished than raw and gritty, but this isn't a bad thing. I must single out the sound of Herman Rarebell's drums for praise, as they manage to sound hard-hitting and stay sounding polished at the same time; you can hear every drum being hit very audibly, and they give off quite a heavy, anthemic vibe with a nice slight reverberant touch.

Regardless of anyone's stance on the polished production of the 80s and early 90s, the strength of the material itself is the important thing here. The band members were in their mid 30s-early 40s at the time, and this album showcases a slightly more mature Scorpions than what fans were greeted with in the past. The artwork is non-controversial, the lyrics don't attempt to be too outrageous, with the band seemingly choosing to focus more on honing their musical skill and further fine-tuning their sound, and beneath the standard upbeat hard rock numbers such as "Tease Me, Please Me", "Don't Believe Her" and "Kicks After Six", you can find more sentimental, heartfelt songs such as "To Be With You In Heaven", "Wind of Change" (which is a definite strong point of the album and was a big hit for the band, featuring whistles from Klaus Meine and lyrics that celebrate the end of the Cold War), and the closing track "Send Me An Angel" complete with a backing choir as well as strings.

The latter track serves as an emotional goodbye, in a way, to the band's commercial heyday and 'classic' era as they decided to move on and experiment with their sound for a while after this album, with mixed results. However, Crazy World stands as a brilliant example of what this German quintet are capable of. On the surface, it may just seem like just another early 1990s hard rock album with polished production, but if you dig deeper, you will find much to enjoy about it, whether it be the melodies, the vocals, the guitars, the drums etc; the band's musicianship is something that simply cannot be denied. Crazy World is one of the band's greatest achievements and most entertaining listens, and deserves a righteous place in the collection of any rock and/or metal fan.