Rammstein: Liebe Ist Für Alle Da Album Review
“Whoever waits patiently will be rewarded when the time is right.
Now, the wait is over Lend your ears to a legend” – Rammlied
Hrrmmm? I’m actually doing a mini review for a music CD?
Yeah, why not.
I’ve been a Rammstein nut ever since my early years of high school. The first album I ever heard was the band’s second album “Sehnsucht” (translated as “Longing” in a lustful sense) which contained “Du Hast” (“You have/hate“), the song that blasted Rammstein into fame outside of Germany.
The entire album had a raw metal edge, though some of the tracks had background instrumentation that really reinforced their unique take on the metal genre. The song that comes to mind on the Sehnsucht album is the underrated “Alter Mann” (“Old Man“).
I have since been a connoisseur of Rammstein, through the thick and thin. The thing that really appealed to me about the band was that when they did heavy metal, they did it good. Songs like “Links 234“, “Mein Teil“, and “Teir” (“Left 234“, “My Thing“, and “Beast” respectively) have extremely primal beats accompanied by raging guitars, making such songs ideal for getting the adrenaline pumping. However, the band also has a great knack at writing power ballads. Songs like “Seemann” and “Ohne Dich” (“Sailor” and “Without You“) are some of the most powerfully emotional and well executed songs I have ever heard, and it was the song “Seemann” that actually inspired me to learn bass guitar just to master the beautiful melody.
The first album, Herzeleid (“Heartache“) is, in my humble opinion, not fantastic. However, for a first album, a band can do so, so much worse. Their early work has some gems, such as “Asche zu Asche” and “Seemann” (“Ashes to Ashes” and “Sailor“), however the majority of the album sounds very stiff compared to their later work.
Sehnsucht brought about a refinement of their metal style, and was the natural evolution of their sound. The band’s acclaimed “Du Hast” is present, as well as “Engel” (“Angel“) and the notorious “Buck Dich” (“Bend Down“).
The band’s (arguably) greatest album is Mutter (“Mother“), in which their music hits the zenith of diversity and polish. While leaning more towards ‘instrumental’ instead of ‘metal’, Mutter is still a fantastic album with the songs “Sonne“, “Mein Herz Brennt“, “Ich Will“, and “Feuer Frei” (“Sun“, “My Heart Burns“, “I Want“, “Fire At Will“).
The next album, Reise, Reise (“Arise, Arise“) did not do as well as fans anticipated, however with hits like “Mein Teil“, “America” and “Ohne Dich” it was far from a failure. A few of my personal favorites from Reise, Reise include the title song, “Reise, Reise”, “Los”, and “Moskau” (“Arise, Arise”, “Less”, “Moscow”).
The ‘extra songs’ that were recorded for the original Reise, Reise were released as the album Rosenrot (Rose Red), which is arguably the weakest of the band’s works, as most of the songs were much slower and came across to me as would-be power-ballads. While the title song “Rosenrot” is good and the music video was even better, the other spotlighted songs, “Benzin” and “Mann Gegen Mann” (“Gasoline“, “Man Against Man“) did not overly impress this critic. However, some tracks remained notible: “Wo Bist Du” (“Where Are You?“) and “Te Quiero Puta” (“I Love You Whore“).
So after nearly five years of being absent from the international music scene, Rammstein has released its latest album. So what does this Rammstein fan think of the album? I’ll go song-by-song to give you my impressions.
Liebe Ist Für Alle Da
Rammlied – Rammsong – Gets the album started off with a bang. Departing from the power-ballad sound of the previous album -Rosenrot- the song Rammlied shows that Rammstein’s music still has teeth and nails. The opening choir piece sounds ‘Soviet’ for lack of a better description. Those of you who actually liked the song “Reise, Reise” will enjoy this piece as much as I did. A driving guitar riff and a solid beat for the most part, the music is accompanied by a synthesizer melody piece (most noticeably towards the end) that gives the whole song a flavor that I can’t quite describe. Still, it is easy to equate the theme of the song to being between the heavy metal of the Sehnsucht album and the more instrumental and powerful pieces of the album Mutter. The lyrics are very triumphant, signaling Rammstein’s (somewhat lyrically egotistical) return to the music scene: “Whoever waits patiently will be rewarded when the time is right. Now, the wait is over Lend your ears to a legend.” Judging by this opening track, the rest of the album looks promising. Perhaps The Legend is truely back?
Ich Tu Dir Weh – I Hurt You – The song starts off with a ‘liquid-synthesizer’ piece that reminds me a lot of the water-based levels in old-school video games. It leads into a guitar riff that is very closely related to Rammstein’s earlier song, “Keine Lust” from the Reise, Reise album. When Till Lindemann begins to sing, the song takes on what can only be described as a sort of ‘metal jazz’ as the beat re-enforces a blues beat that you can picture a room full of people snapping their fingers and tapping toes. But this is far from a classic blues-rhythmic tune, as the guitars still carry the heavy, headbanging Rammstein edge. The lyrics to Ich Tu Dir Weh imply S&M sexual practices: “I hurt you. I’m not sorry. It does you good. Listen to it scream.” A very fun, very ‘cool’ piece to listen to, especially the chorus.
“Ich Tu Dir Weh” music video
Waidmanns Heil – Good Hunting – The beginning sounds like the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games, but that flame is quickly snuffed out by a racing metal beat. In fact, the name of the song is translated as what hunters said to each other in the olden days to wish them luck in their game. And a hunt/chase song is very close to what it sounds like. The first three songs on the new album definitely show a promising departure from the power ballads and back into their unique take on metal music. The lyrics, in usual Rammstein fashion, are about pursuing women, and Waidmanns Heil’s approach to the subject is a pretty violent comparison to game hunting: “I’ve been in heat for days. So I will hunt down some female game. And I’ll wait in the blind until morning so I can make a shoulder shot.”
Haifisch – Shark – Heavy use of the keyboard and the background God Chorus supported by another semi-jazz beat similar to “Ich Tu Dir Weh“. Use of the guitars is minimal to the point of blending into the chorus, until towards the end where they add a series of chords that reminds me of a 1960’s California surfer-theme, which is appropriate for a song called ‘Shark’. The chorus is easily the highlight of the song.
B******** – meaningless word – A droning beat and sulky vocals plague this song. Usually the chorus pieces are the redeeming factors of less-than-stellar Rammstein songs, however even the chorus sounds as unintelligible as a cheap Slipknot knock off. The song feels uninspired and it drones on repetitively. The lyrics imply seduction, but there is nothing seductive about this song.
Fruhling in Paris – Springtime in Paris – Opens with an acoustic guitar melody and Till singing a rather soft song. Midway through a light drum beat picks the melody up, but it remains a soft song like those we’re accustomed to from the Rosenrot album. Whether this is a good thing or a bad thing is up to you. Personally I think it’s a nice change of pace, and although not a great song in comparison to Rammstein’s other power ballads like “Seemann” and “Ohne Dich“, it has a calm, almost nostalgic melody that is intoxicating. Yes, ‘nostalgic’ is the best way to describe the sound of this song. The lyrics are basically about losing virginity, and it plays like the nostalgic memory of a magical first encounter: “Her lips oft-sold yet soft. And to touch them for eternity. When I left her mouth. Then I began to freeze.”
Wiener Blut –Venetian Blood – The sequel to the hit song (and a personal favorite) “Mein Teil“… Lyrically, any ways. The song starts out with the sound of chopping something on a cutting board, and escalates to thrash metal. I would not have a problem if this was a stand-alone song, but this is in no way a true sequel to one of the most powerful and disturbing metal songs of all time. “Mein Teil” starts off with (what I would call) “the sound of blind hate and rage” and it leads into one of the most chilling and audibly disturbing songs outside of Silent Hill. Sadly, the sequel is never as good as the original. But outside of a direct comparison with its predecessor, Wiener Blut is another song that just doesn’t do anything for me. It escalates and gets soft and creepy too frequently, and parts of the song sound out of control at times.
Pussy – “You’ve got a pussy, I’ve got a dicka. So what’s the problem? Let’s do it quick.”
“So take me now before it’s too late. Life’s too short so I can’t wait. Take me now, oh don’t you see, I can’t get laid in Germany.”
… What else can be said about the song that has such ridiculously bad English lyrics and whose music video is basically a 3 minute porno? Hearing Till sing in English is so incredibly jarring in Pussy, far worse than “Stripped” on the Sehnsucht album, and the lyrics only make the whole song feel so ethereal, that you end up listening to it repeatedly to see if you actually heard what you thought you heard. The lyrics themselves are horribly blatant for a Rammstein song, which are often laced with tongue-in-cheek metaphors and obscure comparisons to sex. To be honest, the music behind the lyrics is upbeat and fun by itself, with the toy-like keyboard piece taking precedence over the guitars. I have a feeling that Flake, the keyboardist, really had fun with this song, and if you don’t take it seriously, you will have fun listening to it. Not a horrible song, not bad in fact, but not what I’d expect from Rammstein outside of the shock value. I honestly hope they release a version of the song without lyrics… Well, maybe keep my favorite chorus line: “Just a little bit… Be my little bitch.”
“Pussy” (Censored Version)
Liebe Ist Für Alle Da – Love is for Everyone – The title track for the album does not disappoint. Machine gun procession and a fast-paced tempo makes Liebe Ist Für Alle Da one of the album’s best metal tracks. The chorus is face-paced and catchy, and highlights the theme of the song: “Love is for everyone, not for me.” The rapid pace increases to a ‘climax’ for lack of a better word.
Mehr – Me – The song changes pace repeatedly, which is not a bad thing. The chorus piece is surprisingly the hardest part of the song, complete with heavy riffs that are reminiscent of the Sehnsucht era. The alter half of the song gets soft, though not as soft as Fruhling in Paris, until the chorus returns.
Roter Sand – Red Sand – A softer song with a gentle whistling complimenting a gentle guitar. Till’s vocals are fairly soft, giving the entire track a very ‘folk’ sound. The synth pieces towards the end are a welcome addition that add harmony to Till’s haunting lyrics. There isn’t a ton of depth to the song, but it is still enjoyable to an eclectic listener.
It’s typical for me to have to give an album more than one listening to determine whether or not I’ll actually enjoy it. Rammstein’s latest album is no different. I usually enjoy or hate the beginning songs upon my first listening, and then I lose interest in the remainder of the album, making most albums feel ‘top heavy’ from the start. Only upon multiple listenings can I appreciate the later half of most albums, and that was the impression I got with Liebe Ist Für Alle Da. I fell in love with the first three tracks immediately, but the rest was an acquired taste.
As a whole, the album was much more enjoyable than the previous –Rosenrot– and I honestly believe that (for the most part) Rammstein has finally rediscovered their sound. The only songs that honestly put me off were “Weiner Blut” and “B********” because they felt uninspired and annoying. “Fruhling in Paris” is powerful in portraying a sense of nostalgia and is a great ‘folk’ tune.
As far as the controversial “Pussy” I have to admit that I love it. I love pussy. Har har… It’s stupid and rude, but if you don’t take it seriously it is fun and the music itself is interesting and catchy. Plus, who else but Rammstein has the balls to make a pornographic music video?
For you adrenaline junkies, if you need music for working out or gaming, I’d suggest you add the following songs to your playlist:
- Ich Tu Dir Weh
- Waidmanns Heil
- Liebe Ist Für Alle Da
On a final note, Liebe Ist Für Alle Da is a triumphant return of Rammstein’s distinctive sound. However, it is not as close to the Sehnsucht or Mutter albums as divided fans may have wished, but it is definitely a step in the right direction. I implore fans and metal-heads alike to purchase the album, or at least legitimately purchase a few of the songs. Rammstein appears to be listening to their fans, and continue to refine their sound to keep it fresh, though distinctly Rammstein; Liebe Ist Für Alle Da is proof.