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Tokio Hotel
Scream
Cherry Tree/ Interscope Records
www.tokiohotel.com


How four teenage musicians from Germany obtained the name Tokio Hotel is still unknown to me, but the name has proven to be a good luck charm for singer Bill Kaulitz, his brother/guitarist Tom Kaulitz, bassist Georg Listing, and drummer Gustav Schafer. Their latest release Scream has sold several million copies throughout Europe and the UK, and now they are taking their brand of nu metal/acoustic rock to the States. Produced by Dave Roth, Patrick Benzner, Peter Hoffman, and David Jost (Jewel, Faith Hill, Motley Crue), Scream is immaculate in its hard rock flurries, modulated chord dynamics, and metal voltage. Tokio Hotel's music is characteristic of Mayday Parade, Aiden, and City Sleeps while still maintaining their own voice.

Americans acquired a liking for Germany's stash of pop/rock broods from artists like Nena Kerner, The Scorpions, and contemporary heavy hitters like Rammstein and Emigrate. Tokio Hotel continues the tradition with excitable chord sequences and stimulating tempo changes which harness a virile energy in songs like "Love Is Dead," "Don't Jump," and the lead track "Scream." The hard rock sonorousness has an amplified arena voicing that converges with lead singer Bill Kaulitz's vocals as he accentuates the peak notes and curves of the vocal melodies, especially on the crowd-pleaser "Ready, Set, Go!" Kaulitz does not sing them straight but with quite a bit of oomph which empowers the intensity of the chord sequences. The drum kicks and bass thumps create a riptide which suctions to the cyclone-spinning guitar flurries on selections like "Final Day," "Break Away," and "On The Edge." The gradual sonic buildups produce crests and troughs along the melodic progressions which have a rushing urgency grazing through the phases.

The band tries to pack in so much energy into each song that you kind of look forward to the album's rock ballads which pop up on numbers like the soft flowing chiffon-textured chords of "Rescue Me," the lo-fi timbers and moonlit intimacy of "Monsoon," and the anthematic "Forgotten Children." The tuneful currents of "Sacred" brim with romantically-bulbed facets, and the undulating harmonies of "By Your Side" are stylistic and impeccably sequenced, way beyond these four musicians' years. The lyrical phrases also project a romantic mirage like in "Sacred" which declares, "Your hand above, like a dove over me/ To me, you'll be forever sacred." And in "By Your Side" as Kaulitz confesses, "Turn around, I'm here." They are lyrics which you expect from bands like Cute Is What We Aim For and Boys Like Girls, and now Tokio Hotel joins that company.

One thing Tokio Hotel proves beyond a doubt is that teenagers from around the world are stimulated by the same type of music. It's one where the chord sequences excite their emotions and the movements rush urgently forward with unadulterated virility.

-Susan Frances


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