Helloween - Pink Bubbles Go Ape review
|Album:||Pink Bubbles Go Ape|
01. Pink Bubbles Go Ape
02. Kids Of The Century
03. Back On The Streets
04. Number One
05. Heavy Metal Hamsters
06. Goin' Home
07. Someone's Crying
09. I'm Doin' Fine Crazy Man
10. The Chance
11. Your Turn
12. Blue Suede Shoes [Carl Perkins cover][2006 Expanded Edition bonus]
13. Shit And Lobster [2006 Expanded Edition bonus]
14. Les Hambourgeois Walkways [2006 Expanded Edition bonus]
15. You Run With The Pack [2006 Expanded Edition bonus]
Before starting the review of this so called "Worst Helloween Album Ever," let's take a small briefing of the time it was released...
"Pink Bubbles Go Ape" came out in a bad time for Helloween; the guitarist and founder of the band, Kai Hansen, had just left the band three years ago, the band had not released a full-length album after the Legendary "Keepers" and moreover there were legal problems with the record label! Other bands would have just disbanded, but Helloween continued… They hired a new guitarist to fill Hansen's gap, changed their record label and finally released their fourth album in 1991. The responsibility after the masterpieces "Keeper of the Seven Keys Pt. I & II" was enormous. The fans and the critics were expecting an album-follower in the "Keepers" spirit, but instead, Helloween released an album with a ridiculous name called "Pink Bubbles Go Ape" with a weird cover and even weirder music… I don't know the purpose and the meaning of this move, but it wasn't the best.
Musically, it's an average album with a different attitude that may be pleasant to listen to, but it doesn't have anything to do with the former great albums and that's what outraged their hardcore fans. If it came in another period of time, it might have gone better among the music world, just like other albums, from bands that wanted to take a break from their mainstream sound. The music is very different from the usual Helloween and I could say it's not Power Metal at all. Some songs can be described even as "Pop-Rock" (see Number One) or just "Glam Rock," but this doesn't mean they're bad. No they don't suck at all (at least not all). I found interesting this music orientation, although I think it might not have been the right time for that. The lyrical concept here is different too; humor is a basic ingredient of this album, as you can clearly see, not only by the album art, but from the song titles as well (see Heavy Metal Hamsters). But there are also some serious songs like "Mankind" that remain in the Power Metal spirit of the "Keepers" and criticize the path of humanity. But unfortunately, there are also some idiotic songs with no reason of existence, like "I'm Doin Fine, Crazy Man".
Apart from the songwriting and the concept of the lyrics, the band still plays their music in the best possible way. Michael Kiske too, is doing a great job on the vocals. If it wasn't him, I don't think the album would have the same quality. I think it would be much worst. Generally speaking, the album could have gone much better if it had a better promotion and a better producer, which seems to have said "You have a lot of crap for this record, so let's put them it on the album!"… The result of that was an album, with many different songs, that didn't get along well.
Ending this, I'd like to say, that I enjoyed most of this album… It's a very good choice for Helloween fans that want to listen to something different from the band. Furthermore, it's finally been remastered and can be found with four interesting bonus tracks and an interview inside the booklet, which explains much about the band's decision to proceed into this step. These bonus tracks were taken from the Singles "Kids Of The Century" and "Number One" that followed this album. They're in the same line with the album, so don't expect anything different. My favorite of these bonus tracks is "Shit and Lobster" which could had been easily included in the first release, since it's more into the album's spirit.
|If anyone has read my review of Gamma Ray's Heading for Tomorrow, you might have noticed that I consider it to be the real follow up to the Keeper albums. Well, this album might also be that follow up. This is Helloween's first album after the Keeper twins, and also after the departure of founding member Kai Hansen. His loss is not something you miss very much because he wrote some of the material for the album, and the new guitarist, Roland Grapow (which is going to have a great impact on future Helloween albums) is not taking a big part here.
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