I’ve listened to Rammstein since Mutter, but at some point I kind of got bored of their music, since it didn’t seem to evolve much. And while these new songs (Deutschland and Radio) have got a very good grip and they’re from the better end of the Rammstein spectrum, they’re still rewriting that same song from early 2000s. But this is the case with most bands and artists – pretty much all artists keep on revisiting their past work at some level, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. An artist could end up writing a better version of the song they are known for.
Liking a song is rarely based on the merits of that specific song alone. One is more likely to like a song, if one likes what the artist represents – values, themes, style, personality, etc. I think that I owe Rammstein a lot in that sense, because Unzyme’s live show and look is also quite extravagant and visually striking. It’s something we probably learned from Rammstein. Choosing such a style comes with limitations, but limitations are good for you.
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I may be more critical of the composition, because I don’t understand the lyrics without someone explaining them to me, or taking some time to translate. I do understand parts of the lyrics, but not enough to criticise them. It seems like there is a lot of thought put into the lyrics. However, for me to like a song, I need to like the melodies, the instrumentation and the arrangement first. And sadly, as a composition, Radio is Rammstein on autopilot. It’s not bad, just mediocre. Lyrics can save a mediocre song, or make it worse.
Radio as a single song isn’t too great, but it probably works better as an album track. Rammstein is a very complete piece of art. Everything about it has been designed with care and consistency. Actually, reviewing a song of theirs feels quite pointless. If you watch the Radio music video, the song sounds a lot better. The video looks really nice. It’s stylish, funny and provocative – trademark traits of Rammstein.
Rammstein has always been very confident about everything they do. They’ve disabled comments for all of their videos on YouTube, which is an interesting move. It somehow seems logical. It makes you think more to yourself, because you can’t immediately reflect your thoughts on the comments of others. That’s actually quite brilliant. The conversation on Rammstein’s songs takes place in fans’ commentary videos. It takes a lot of self-confidence to tell your fans to shut up and listen. I appreciate that! The video and the lyrics of their previous single, Deutschland, encourage that same kind of thinking. It takes some time to figure out what’s going on, and it’s refreshing to see a band do something that actually requires the listener to actively focus. That kind of art will last long.