Artist: Scorpions  
   Title: Humanity Hour 1
   Label: Sony BMG

Whoever had the idea to go to Los Angeles and get Desmond Child to produce the latest Scorpions album should get a pat on the back because with his input this record is a step up from the norm for the band as it is full of songs that are bang up to date sound-wise, as well as having their recognisable classic rock and power ballads that we're all used to.

From the off you wouldn't think it was them at all with the thudding drums and mean n' moody guitars that introduce 'Hour 1' until Klaus Meine starts to sing in his distinctive nasally style, the songs as a whole are a lot harder than you'd expect from the Germans but won't be disappointed with and it's a hell of a way to open their account this time around.

'The Game Of Life' is slightly tamer but still ballsy enough to be classed as a typical Scorpions track as is 'You're Lovin' Me Death', but in between is the energetic ballad 'Future Never Dies', with its orchestration oozing throughout making it one of the best rock ballads the band have ever done and is definitely at home here.

Another up to date sounding song '321' starts off with the guitar grinding out its sound as if Zakk Wilde had been given the job as main axe-man for the track and Meine repeatedly asking the question "Are You Ready To Rock?", which will no doubt get a resounding "Yes!" when played live.

The more melodic 'Love Will Keep Us Alive' with its acoustic laden sound gives the ears a break for a few minutes before the slightly greyer side of dark love song 'We Will Rise Again' bursts through with driving guitar work, James Kottak hammering his drum kit for all his worth and all this misleading you as the song eventually becomes almost a slow rocker with Meine singing from the heart, meaning everything he says.

'Love Is War', another acoustic led song follows, showing how much the band are willing to be guided to slightly change their sound to make the song stand out and prove there's more to the band than just the usual hard rock they're known for as they do in 'Cross' before ending with another classy rock ballad based song 'Humanity', with fine touches of guitar work from the lads ending the album perfectly.

All I can end with is I raise my hat to the Scorpions for coming up with what I think is one of their best LP's yet and should please their fans no end and should raise a few eyebrows with pleasant surprise all round.

* Review by Bob.

Tracklisting:

   1. Hour 1
   2. Game Of Life
   3. We Were Born To Fly
   4. Future Never Dies
   5. You're Lovin' Me To Death
   6. 321
   7. Love Will Keep Us Alive
   8. We Will Rise Again
   9. Your Last Song
  10. Love Is War
  11. Cross
  12. Humanity

  Bonus DVD:

1. Behind The Scenes
2. Interviews
3. Cold
4. Photo Gallery
                  

 

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