Saturday, 28 November 2009

CD Review: Animal Magnetism, by Scorpions (1980)

Scorpions produce a strange album, mostly full of near-misses. There is no doubting the polish and professionalism of the music and the delivery on Animal Magnetism, but that killer last 10 percent of inspiration in the song-writing is missing, resulting in a curious lack of satisfaction.

Once again seeking shock publicity through cover art, the original album release had a back cover image that was similar to the front, but with the dog moving a bit further to the right and the woman, seeing what we couldn't, expressing a certain amount of shock. Just like the original front cover of Lovedrive, the original back cover of Animal Magnetism didn't make it onto the CD release -- and it's not easy to find even on the Internet.

The Scorpions line-up settled down with one Schenker brother and Matthias Jabs taking on the critical guitar duties, and delivering powerful, crunchy and basic riffs with reasonable solos. Klaus Meine's voice remains the most valuable instrument, as he screeches his way through the nine-song set. Herman Rarebell's drums are less prominent than on Lovedrive, and that may have something to do with the overall lack of energy in the song-writing. The song topics remain grounded in love, lust, ladies, and the like.

Two songs stand-out from the relatively lacklustre list: Make It Real and Only A Man are both shortish, to-the-point and in-the-groove power metal tracks that added to the Scorpions' marketability across a wide market. The Zoo is a solid, somewhat experimental track that chugs along like an old but strong steam engine. Equally experimental but less successful is the title track Animal Magnetism, which attempts to expand the definition of slow and steady but instead wanders off to snooze land.

As for the rest, the ballads are sleepy, and the up-tempo songs are rather ho-hum. Animal Magnetism is interesting, but not very exciting.


Klaus Meine - Vocals
Rudolf Schenker - Guitars
Matthias Jabs - Guitars
Francis Buchholz - Bass
Herman Rarebell - Drums

Songlist (ratings out of 10):

1. Make It Real - 9
2. Don't Make No Promises (Your Body Can't Keep) - 7
3. Hold Me Tight - 7
4. Twentieth Century Man - 6
5. Lady Starlight - 7
6. Falling In Love - 7
7. Only A Man - 10
8. The Zoo - 8
9. Animal Magnetism - 7

Average: 7.56

Produced by Dieter Dierks.
Mastered by Howie Weinberg.

All Ace Black Blog CD Reviews are here.

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