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Hidden Genius - 90%

The_CrY, October 6th, 2010

Isn’t it surprising how almost every 90s album by an 80s metal band gets bashed nowadays? And you should know most of that isn’t even deservedly. Take this album for example; the Scorpions take a different step in their career than cheap, commercial hair metal and in an instant the fans bombard this album as one of their worst. Lucky for this album there is still someone like me to stand up for this hidden gem.

Hidden behind the abominable cover art are eleven great tracks; all of them containing a lot of colourful themes and arrangements. There’s just one problem for our everyday Scorpions fan: there’s a certain lack of heavy rockers. Predecessor Face The Heat had enough of them and is perhaps the heaviest Scorps record to date. What better solution for a follow up is there than to release the inevitable opposite? Oh yes, there are a few rockers on the album, and probably some of the best the Scorpions have written. “Wild Child” with its drum-heavy verses and very catchy chorus is an instant Scorps classic, “But the Best for You” rolls on tightly with a friendly riff and “Stone in my Shoe” is a relaxing track with a typical 90s-Scorpions feel to it. Said quite blandly: the rest of the songs are all ballads. Now don’t you dare to trash this album just because of that. These eight ballads happen to be some of the finest the Scorpions have ever put together.

The first you’ll come across is “Wind of Change”-clone number two: “Does Anyone Know”; to sum this one up it’s a sing-along track with similar styled lyrics to the aforementioned track and is probably one of the less original songs on here, but still not bad. “Soul Behind the Face” takes the album to a whole new sound with its bluesy lead guitars at the intro. Given the often cheesy lyrics to ballads, it’s safe to say this one features some of the most thoughtful love-styled lyrics they’ve written. A lot of arrangements have been done with the clean and acoustic guitars, though the electric guitar still mostly blinks at us from the chorus and the solos. “When You Came Into My Life” is a very passionate one with a great build-up with very persuasive spine-shivering vocals from Klaus Meine. That brings us to another element in favour of this album: Klaus Meine is in a great shape. Combined with the very colourful and intimate arrangements of the songs, the result is breathtaking. We are surprised by Matthias Jabs when he plays some slide guitars on “Where the River Flows”, my favourite track off the album. In this track Ralph Rieckermann proves that he is the only worthy successor to Francis Buchholz and his bass-lines make the song. He does so much more than just accompanying it.

A little bit of guts are added with the acoustic swinger “Time Will Call Your Name”. Very catchy chord progressions vary with the inventive vocal melody in a way that is neither cheesy nor cheap. Note that this track’s chorus is one of the catchiest on Pure Instinct. “You and I” is the lead single from this album and somehow the Scorpions always succeed in writing an amazingly catchy ballad and making it so memorable at the same time. This is one of their finest ballads ever, even topping classics such as “Still Loving You” or “Wind of Change”. The almost orchestrally arranged “Are You the One?” closes this album and might seem like a weak track, but when you listen the album as a whole it perfectly closes the album as it actually sums up the record.

So in fact we have a pretty good Scorpions album here. Hell, on of the finest they’ve released I’d say. They might not be playing metal here, but that shouldn’t matter and it doesn’t. This collection of pop/rock tracks deserves to be much more than just another album in the Scorpions discography nobody knows. Underrated and highly recommended.

Strongest tracks: “Where the River Flows”, “Time Will Call Your Name” and “You and I”.

This just plain sucks! - 10%

Brat1983, March 4th, 2006

After having heard the marvellous "Face The Heat" album, I was actually looking forward to this album, but as much as I had expected, just as much was I let down. But it didn't seem as though I was gonna be disappointed... not for the first 4 minutes... The song Wild Child is an instant classic. A very catchy track and a really good hard rock song. All 10 points goes to this song.

6 songs out of the next 10 songs are ballads... which probably would have been acceptable had they been the same high standard as "Still loving you", "Wind of change", "Holiday" and the likes of such... but unfortunately they aren't. They are the worst kind of garbage you could ever imagine. Uninspired, boring, sad!

One could have hoped that the few hard rock tracks here would be worth mentioning, but they are just as uninspired and dreadful as the ballads. This album really is a fine example of a famous band running out of ideas... If it hadn't been for Wild Child, this would have been as bad as St. Anger...!

And I could go on... the cheesy lyrics keeps on coming out of this trash pile... "Stone in my shoe", "Sould behind the face", "You and I"..... the Scorpions never wrote super lyrics but with this album they literally hit rock bottom!

This is such a stinker! Download Wild Child or get it copied from somebody but avoid the rest of this stinker like the plague!