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Scorpions – Sting in the Tail: Review

The famous German heavy metal/hard rock band, Scorpions, announced that the latest album would be their final album. It is entitled Sting in the Tail, and was released on March 23. It appears as though a fair amount of time and effort had been put into this record. As a pleasant bonus, one of the songs features former Nightwish vocalist, Tajra Turunen. But with all the work gone into this album, it still does not live up to the early Scorpions classics. Still, it is a very strong album and an appropriate way to conclude the long-lived career of the legendary rock stars.

The Music (rating: B+)

  1. Raised on Rock
  2. Sting in the Tail
  3. Slave Me
  4. The Good Die Young (ft. Tajra Turunen)
  5. No Limit
  6. Rock Zone
  7. Lorelei
  8. Turn You On
  9. Sly
  10. Spirit of Rock
  11. The Best is Yet to Come

Little has changed with the Scorpions’ sound over there years. Whether this is good or bad depends on personal preference. This album contains songs to the likings of such classics as “Rock You Like a Hurricane” and “No One Like You”. However, they are not at the same level of quality. But for those who are fans of the classic Scorpions sound, do not expect disappointment in this album.

Personally, I have always seen Scorpions as a “hit band”. They are best at delivering catchy radio-friendly rock themes (such as the two early mentioned). And despite my disdain for radio music, I think this band gives great songs of that nature. Their songs are catchy and somewhat simple, but also have many appreciable musical features within them to keep them from seeming shallow. The issue is that it is difficult for the band to outdo their previous work because the style is so strictly structured. The songs on this album are musically elevated above standard radio yet still catchy, but nowhere near the extent of their former material. In my opinion, most of these songs will eventually age into oblivion, even within the band’s fanbase. They are too similar to the band’s older songs to stand out, but not as well crafted to survive in the Scorpions catalog.

Nonetheless, it is a great album and worth listening to. The songs follow the same basic structure, but do so quite well. Sting in the Tail is somewhat devoid of complexity, but still has some creative rhythms and melodies. For a radio-friendly album, I found it very effortless to listen to on a personal level. Though the songs are too musically simple to offer anything impressively innovative, it still gives forth much “inside-the-box” creativity. The band is not at an overly high level of musicianship, but they do very well with what they have to work with.

What I find most commendable in this record is the lack of decline in the instrumental abilities of the band members. Klaus Meine is still at his best for both vocal technicality and phrasing. Though he’s nowhere near the best singers, he is still amazing in comparison to the other vocalists on the radio. Rudolf Schlenker and Matthias Jabs both give good guitar riffs and decent solos, but again, nothing overly special in the whole picture. The drums and bass are basically filler instruments, only there to make the sound complete. But overall, there is more praise than complaints with the instrumentals.

The whole album is quite solid. The quality, from my viewpoint, grows as the album progresses. I feel the second half is distinctly stronger than the first half, with songs like “Lorelei,” “Sly,” and “Spirit of Rock” standing out. And the final song, “The Best is Yet to Come,” is a memorable conclusion not only to the album, but also to the band’s career. Though this album shows that the band can still create quality material, they seem to have reached the end of their life of music. Without doubt, Sting in the Tail is a strong farewell to the music scene by Scorpions.

Alternate Reviews

Ultimate Guitar: 7.7/10

antiMusic: 3.5/5

Sleaze Roxx

Sea of Tranquility: 3/5

Daniel Franklin Gomez: 2/10

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