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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Scorpions – Comeblack album review

Scorpions – Comeblack album review
Released on: Legacy / Sony. Release date: Available now

What can I say about Germany’s premier rock band The Scorpions that has not been said before, as a prelude to this review?
Only really that it’s still sad that they are still on target to call it quits, pretty soon, even after their fantastic live showing here in the USA in 2010 as their ‘Farewell Sting In The Tail’ tour kicked off.
They really did come across – Even with Klaus Meine and Rudolf Schenker both now in their 60’s – as being on the top of their game:

‘Comeblack’ – Still a very strange title to me – is a combination of seven re-recorded Scorpions classics and six new cover tunes from the band, given the bands ‘special’ treatment.
Opener ‘Rhythm of Love’s’ intro kind of threw me for a second but then it’s good again as they kick into gear!
Originally on 1988’s ‘Savage Amusement’ album, it certainly is good to first of all hear it again, but it is rejuvenated, not absolutely stunning, but still very good.

Next up ‘No One Like You’ is brilliant! One of the many gems from the ‘Blackout’ album, this certainly seems to have a few obvious tweaks for the better. The harmony vocals are seriously enhanced and it just sounds tougher. I love it!
I don’t think anyone will be disappointed with hearing ‘The Zoo’ once again, originally from 1980’s ‘Animal Magnetism.’
The main riff has a new accent to it and through the verses there’s almost a semi-funk type feel to it, which is very cool.
Not too much change about the voice box presentation, but overall, it’s given new life!

Really great to hear is the new version of ‘Rock You Like a Hurricane,’ a real pleasure after former drummer Herman Rarebell’s recent tongue in cheek version on his ‘Herman Ze German’ album. Listening to this through headphones, is fun with the sound seemingly spinning around your head at times. The solo is certainly more impressive.
I’ve felt like I’ve rocked!!!
‘Blackout’ is such a great song …, well, they all are!
The choice on these few gems is perfect, ‘Blackout’ sounds great, revived nicely here, the band is seriously in fine form!

The song that brought the band a number one worldwide smash is also included here, in the ballad ‘Wind of Change.’
Again, I think this really benefits from better recorded / mixed harmony vocals, very nicely done.

Probably amongst true Scorpions fans favourite ballads has to be, ‘Still Loving You’ and here they indeed capture it nicely.

When I first heard that the bands were covering the Soft Cell tune ‘Tainted Love,’ frankly I couldn’t take it seriously, but having heard it now ..., frequently, they’ve done to it the only and obvious thing anyone should do to it, kicking its rear end!
It’s actually almost kind of punky, but you know, it probably gave them a laugh doing it.

Surprised that the band chose to cover the T-Rex song ‘Children of the Revolution’ but to be honest, I could the same of the other tracks here too. The riffs in the verse almost give it a (Black)Sabbath feel, but the chorus is sincerely melodic.
It’s been distinctly Scorpion’ised!   
Even a Beatles song gets the Scorpions treatment in ‘Across The Universe’ and it becomes a perfect Scorpions ballad, although Klaus’ voice at the end, is struggling.

‘Tin Soldiers’ originally by the Small Faces is perhaps a little unique in its own way too, kind of sounds more like The Who meets (Led) Zeppelin the way they’ve done this.
It’s very cool …
The Kinks, ‘All Of The Day and All Of The Night’ is next and I remember this by UK rockers Praying Mantis years ago and I loved their version and in their own way, The Scorpions have covered this very well too.

Closing track is the Rolling Stones ‘Ruby Tuesday.’ It’s funny, growing up in the UK, I actually used to get a little sick of hearing it, as it was possibly as overplayed as so many Beatles tracks, but this version works for me.
Sure they’ve pretty much stayed true to the basics, but it has enough twist to make it kind of special.
Overall, a surprising return with a studio album from the Scorpions, mixing re-recorded songs of their own with covers, based on ‘Sting In The Tail,’ I would’ve preferred a new album of new material, but this isn’t bad, but not killer.
New material I think could’ve been, maybe they just wanted to go out having some fun in the studio?

Rating: 3.25 out of 5

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