- Rammstein: "Liebe ist für alle da"
's biggest-selling musical export for years – and at home one of the most misunderstood bands. OK, they revel in leading their easily-confused critics up the garden path. And if you don't have a sense of black humour you'll never really appreciate their uniqueness. Also: you really have to understand German well enough to get what they're on about. And even then, you often have to pay a lot of attention to little details … otherwise you may miss the hidden point. On several occasions it took me a while to pick up on crucial details in Rammstein lyrics that suddenly revealed it all. This album holds a particular example of this trick: listen to the words in the bridge part of "Ich tu dir weh" and you'll suddenly realize that this is not at all about sadism, as you may at first have assumed (following up that typical garden path a la Rammstein).
Other tracks are more in your face and easier to decode: "Mehr" is clearly their exaggerated comment about investment bankers' endless greed. "Wiener Blut" is an excessively, abrasively rendition of the story of the Fritzl case (an Austrian
who kept his daughter in a subterranean dungeon under his house for decades of incest), "Pussy" is a deceptively mass-taste compatible hit track about, no not just about plain sex or certain private parts: rather about ruthless sex tourism
e.g. to Thailand
and such places (so, again, not as superficial and simplistic as it may at first appear). The title track goes on the slippery slope of seeing the world through the eyes of a rapist. "Waidmanns Heil" is a pretty simple exercise in using as much hunters' jargon in a short block of lyrics as possible. "Haifisch" is actually two separate songs, whose chorus is totally unconnected to the verses – which are in a way a continuation of the word-play begun in the song "Los" on the "Reise Reise" album years earlier, only here it's involving all possible word formations and idioms involving the root "halten".
Overall, the sound is as typically Rammstein as it gets: heavy, brutal, massive wall-of-sound stuff with guitar power riffs even more in the foreground than on other albums. But it's also quite varied, including a ballad ("Frühling in Paris
") which features vocalist Till Lindemann singing some lines in French and without his trademark rolled r's! All in all, however, it is probably their darkest outing so far, more consistently so than even their seminal third album "Mutter".
Those who love to hate Rammstein will not like this album either – it's far too typically Rammstein for that. But those who do get (and like) them, can delight in a masterpiece by the masters of a style that they are alone in, really (there's just nothing like Rammstein out there).