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.
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