April 6, 2005

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Rammstein, Rosenrot
Universal Records, 2006

The fact that Rosenrot consists largely of scraps from the cutting room floor of 2004’s Reise Reise might have explained the agonizing roll-out of the former’s standard US edition. As it happens, however, the new record offers adequate enough yin to the latter’s yang despite coming up short of material that’s air-punchingly organic. The gonzo politics and general sick-think are more fully articulated, as in “Benzin” (“Petrol”), where singer Till Lindermann parodies a neocon blurting out pornographic fantasies involving flammable liquids over a guitar line that could have been the result of Metallica writing “I Will Follow.” Although the insistence on singing in German salted with frothing English epithets remains intact, the band has taken another incremental backpedal from their industro-metal roots (matching KMFDM’s recent maneuvering almost stride for stride in that regard) and provides other incontrovertible proof that they’re eyeing the mainstream more beadily: “Mann Gegen Mann” waffles between indoor-voice punk-pop and Ministry terrorism, a rote nu-metal ballad sneaks past the guards (“Spring”), and Bonnie Raitt soundalike Sharleen Spiteri conspires on a near-twee duet (“Stirb Nicht vor Mir”). B-
— Eric W. Saeger


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