Rammstein
Liebe Ist Für Alle Da

I caught Rammstein‘s first US tour about twelve years ago (before the Family Values tour really introduced them to America), and it was one of the funniest, most entertaining shows I’ve ever seen. Explosions during every song. Dummies lit on fire and flung about on wires above the crowd. Vocalist Till Lindemann stalking around the stage with a red Terminator laser affixed to one eye. And let’s not forget the giant six-foot dong Lindemann pulled out of his pants, which unleashed huge foamy geysers of Peter North goo all over the front row of the audience.

Now keep that image in your head as you consider the title of their newest album: Liebe Ist Für Alle Da. Translation: There is Love For All. It’s yet another ironic wink from a band that’s always put schmaltzy, melodramatic album titles like Heartache (Herzeleid), Longing (Sehnsucht) and Mother (Mutter) to their monstrous, Teutonic brand of industrial stomp. So clearly, they’ve not lost their perverse sense of humor.

Case in point, first single “Pussy.” It’s about exactly what you think it’s about, and it’s as simple and stupidly catchy as breakout single “Du Hast” (“You Hate”) from Sehnsucht. Not the best track on the album, but when Lindemann barks “You have a pussy, I have a dick-ah, so what’s the problem, let’s do it quick-ah,” I couldn’t help but chuckle. (Sorry, I’m easily entertained). Yeah, it’s kind of a retread of “Yo Quiero Puta” from Rosenrot (and minus the sassy mariachi horns or crazy cackling senora) but it’s a better, poppier song overall, and it should introduce Rammstein to a whole new generation of fans.

The rest of the album isn’t as silly – this band proved long ago that they’ve got more tricks up their muscled sleeves than just a few punchlines. Herzeleid was surprisingly thrashy, Sehnsucht darker and more menacing, and Mutter brought in sweeping symphonic grandeur. So what does Liebe Ist Für Alle Da bring to their discography? The short answer: nothing really new.

Sure, it sounds like Rammstein – bombastic, militant and all with a terrific, bludgeoning production. And there are some great tracks on here, like the blitzkrieg assault of “Waidmanns Heil” or the mysterious, rousing “Ich Tu Dir Wen” (“I Do Pain To You”), one of the best songs they’ve done in years. The title track also features a faster pace and a stuttering machine-gun riff that will go over really well in a live setting.

But then there are tracks that should have made a bigger impact, like opener “Rammlied” (“Ramming Song”). All the Rammstein elements are there, but the synthesized orchestration lacks the warmth, the grandeur and the tragedy of “Mein Herz Brennt” off of Mutter. Same goes for “Haifisch” (“Shark”), with a pounding, ratatat drum beat that suggests a sly 1930s gangster stomp. However, its tootled keyboard flourish would’ve been more convincing if it were a trio of trumpets or something you’d expect to hear in a smoky speakeasy. The song just winds up feeling goofy instead of jaunty and menacing. Other tracks, like “Wiener Blut” (it doesn’t mean what you think) or the coyly named “B******” bring the hammer but forget the hooks.

There are a few gentle ballads – wistful album closer “Roter Sand” (“Red Sand”) combines moody acoustic guitar with a wandering Clint Eastwood whistle, and “Frühling in Paris” (“Spring in Paris”) borders on lullaby until its final soaring minutes. However, neither is as striking or moving as “Stirb Nicht vor Mir” off Rosenrot, which basically sounded like Rammstein covering Kent. That song, for me, is still one of Rammstein‘s finest and most surprising moments, and nothing here ever came close.

So ultimately, what we’re left with is another very solid Rammstein offering, which I would say is better than the disappointing Reise, Reise and its interesting, though uneven follow-up Rosenrot, but it’s not as memorable as the best moments off any of the first three albums. The classic Rammstein muscle, menace and theatricality is here, but some underwhelming synth choices and a lack of big melodies in enough of the tracks fail to make Liebe Ist Für Alle Da the big return I was hoping for.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Jordan Itkowitz
October 26th, 2009

Comments

  1. Commented by: Jodi

    Very entertaining review. I’ve never been much of a Rammstein fan but I’m actually interested in checking this one out…at least for Pussy. (I doubt I’ll ever use that in a sentence again)


  2. Commented by: Jack

    The video for ‘Pussy’ is worth having a look at.


  3. Commented by: Larry "Staylow" Owens

    I haven’t been too interested in Rammstein in a long time, but your review has peaked my interest – I think I’ll check into it.


  4. Commented by: Old Pick Axe

    I have every Rammstein album since Sehnsucht (their best) except Volkerball and I’ll definitely be getting the new one sooner or later. I doubt it will top the majesty of Reise Reise…but we’ll see.


  5. Commented by: ADUB

    Great review Jordan, this is Andy from the old rainbow days. I haven’t had a chance to listen to the whole album yet, only Pussy, but ill be checking it out soon.


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