Liebe ist für alle da
19 October 2009
by Hugh Platt
So, the new album by Rammstein, eh? Nudge nudge, wink wink, etc. Now we’ve all stopped having a hard-on over that dildo boxset (pun intended), can we get back to talking about the music please?
It’s a shame then that Liebe ist für alle da gets off to such an inauspicious start. There’s certainly plenty of bombast in the opening salvo of ‘Rammlied’, but it’s such a box-ticking effort as far Rammstein tracks go it feels sterile and lacking in its own identity. Till Lindemann is still rolling his R’s, there’s a still healthly line in electronic atmospherics and epic choral vocals behind all that flexing of Richard Kruspe’s riff-muscles, but this is generic fodder for German sextet. The situation doesn’t improve with the following number, ‘Ich tu dir weh’. It’s feels so subdued, we had to eject the album from the stereo to check the CD wasn’t still its cellophane wrapping.
Things only start to get interesting with ‘Haifisch’, which honks and struts along like some debauched Weimar cabaret turn. It’s what Marilyn Manson was desperately scrabbling to achieve for with his Golden Age of Grotesque onanism, but Rammstein have some genuine Germanic gumption and are able to pull it off. The guttural porno-growls of ‘B********’ that follows after is a perfect countbalance – Liebe ist für alle suddenly starts to feel significant.
But it’s ‘Frühling in Paris’ that sees Rammstein truly catch us off-balance for the first time with this record. The gentle, folk-acoustic guitar and the almost-in-your ear vocals from Lindemann are the first of many surprises, not least when the frontman slips from singing in his native German into French – “Je ne regret rien” indeed – and then back again. When the huge bellowed vocals and matching enormous guitars of the chorus join in, the end result is one of the most striking songs Rammstein have written since ‘Mutter’.
There’s no way we could review this album without examining ‘Pussy’. However ridiculous ‘Pussy’ may have seemed at first, in the context of the album, the baudy, eyebrow-waggling nature of the song makes perfect sense. When Lindemann growls “Blitzkrieg mit dem Fleischgewehr!”, he’s not doing it with a straight face; with all the taut Industrial chug that Rammstein employ in their music, people overlook the depth of humour the band have about it. What at first seemed like an exercise in nothing but novelty has revealed itself to be a get-stuck-in-your-mind-for-the-rest-of-the-day track of the first degree. Look at it this way: is anyone reading this now not hearing “You have a pussy! I have a dick-er!” in their head right about now?
Watch the *ahem* censored video to ‘Pussy’ by Rammstein
Liebe ist für alle da no doubt has some fine songs among its 11 tracks, but it lets itself down when Rammstein shy away from experimentation. The band are more than capable of producing genuinely exciting music when they stretch away from their own templates, but in the songs that they resist experimenting they end up following their prior patterns so slavishly as to become predictable.
Beyond the tracks highlighted above, the rest of the album is exactly as you imagine. And while that’s no small feat – an “average” Rammstein album is still worth two dozen identikit metalcore releases, believe me – it still makes the overall album not quite as incendiary as we’d hoped.
Sounds like: Something old, something new, something borrowed, something very blue.
Top tracks: Haifisch, B********, Frühling in Paris
Rammstein – Liebe ist für alle da tracklisting
Ich tu dir weh
Frühling in Paris
Liebe ist für alle da