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CD REVIEW: SCORPIONS – Return To Forever

| 12 September 2015 | Reply


Label: New Door / Universal Music

Release Date: September 11, 2015

Rating: 9.5/10

Reviewed by: Todd “Toddstar” Jolicoeur

Fifty years in and the Scorpions are still churning out high quality rock and roll… even if some of it is unfinished business from decades ago.  While putting together a treat for the fans, the band stumbled on old unfinished tracks and started toying with them… then started finishing some of them… then started writing new tracks, thanks to some flowing creative juices.  The result is a killer disc full of that classic Scorpion sound we have all come to know and love!  New track “Going Out With A Bang” kicks the disc off in the right direction with a classic feel that has a modern twist to it.  The chorus is huge and matches the guitar licks and chugging bottom end.  First single “We Built This House” smacks of mid to late 1980’s Scorpions, although it is one of the new tracks written and recorded for this collection.  This track demonstrates these guys still know how to write a classic feeling rock track, including cool lyrics, guitars, and vocals.  “All For One” has a cool vocal from front man Klaus Meine, as well as a wall of guitar sound that is accentuated by a cool drum sound.  The tempo of the song is familiar to fans of the Scorpions and their catalog.  “Rollin’ Home” is a great track that benefits from the twin guitar attack of Rudolf Schenker and Matthias Jabs.  The chorus is catchy, anthemic, and should be well received in a live setting.  “The Scratch” opens with a cool blues groove wrapped in a rock vibe.  The riff stands out and supports the lead vocal through the verses, while the song explodes at the chorus.  “Dancing With The Moonlight” kicks down the door with some of the best guitar work on the collection.  Jabs and Schenker carry the track, but the drumming and bass from Kottak and Maciwoda cannot be ignored.  This is classic Scorpions and should stand the test of time.  “Crazy Ride” has a classic 80’s rock vibe, compliments of great fretwork and a pounding bass that adds depth to the track.  The lyrics describe a 50-year journey for the band, but listening to this song you can’t help but reflect on how fresh these guys still sound.

“Rock My Car” is an older track that was reworked and completed for this project.  The charging guitars and vocals are well suited against the drums and bass, giving this song a vibe made for a fast car on the open road… windows down… and radio up!  “Rock ‘N’ Roll Band” is ripped from the pre-Savage Amusement era, but seems to drive harder than most of the tracks from that releases.  The modern edge of the guitars and heavy handed rhythm section add a punch the band didn’t know to use back in 1986-1987.  “Hard Rockin’ The Place” has different components from other Scorpions classics that blend well in this format.  The heavy handed drums of James Kottak lift this track and keep it anchored with a solid tempo.  The guitars and vocals elevate this track to be one of the best on the collection.  “Gypsy Life” is a ballad in true Scorpions form that is leftover from 2001’s Acoustica.  The lyrics are personal and full of self-reflection, giving us another look into the mind and hearts of the band.  The guitar work from Schenker and Jabs, while mild in nature and mostly acoustic, speaks volumes at the bridge.  “When The Truth Is A Lie” opens with a milder tempo and mood, but soon shifts to be a good rocker with big riffs and solos, as well as monster vocals from Meine.  “One And One Is Three” brings a furious tempo that is a bit faster than most Scorpions fare, but it fits the rest of the disc.  The solos peppered throughout the track are great, as are the vocals – especially at the chorus.

“House Of Cards” is a melancholy track that has emotional lyrics that rip at the heart while the guitars and vocals dance sweetly around the melody and tempo of this power ballad.  “Catch Your Luck And Play” is another track the band picked up after almost 30 years and finished.  This track from the Savage Amusement writing sessions has a new chorus and a heavy bottom end that drives the track.  The punch from Pawel Maciwoda’s bass gives this track a kick in the ass.  “Eye Of The Storm” is a track written for 2007’s Humanity: Hour 1 (still one of my favorite discs to this day).  This mellower track, while solid on every level, fits better in this format and collection than it would have on that edgier rock album.  “The World We Used To Know” is a fun rock track that doesn’t take itself too serious, with a chugging riff and some of Meine’s best vocals on the disc.  “Who We Are” takes me back to the Crazy World era from a sonic standpoint.  The song, regardless of when it was written shows the bands dedication to not only where they have been, but where they are headed.  Disc closer “Delirious” brings a twin guitar sound to the forefront and builds a song around it.  Kottak’s tribal drum adds flavor to the track, but the vocals add a cool texture to the mix.

Tracklisting: Going Out With A Bang – We Built This House – Rock My Car – House Of Cards – All For One – Rock ‘N’ Roll Band – Catch Your Luck And Play – Rollin’ Home – Hard Rockin’ The Place – Eye Of The Storm – The Scratch – Gypsy Life – The World We Used To Know – Dancing With The Moonlight – When The Truth Is A Lie – Who We Are – Crazy Ride – One And One Is Three – Delirious






Category: CD Reviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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