The second Scorpions album to feature Matthias Jabs on guitar is generally considered a step down in quality, this isn't really fair. `Animal Magnetism' may be a weaker album than `Lovedrive', `Tokyo Tapes' and `Virgin Killer' but its better than most of Uli Roth era, some fans will tell you that all those albums are the pinnacle of music, but this simply isn't the case as the Hendrix inspired numbers with Uli singing tend to be quite embarrassing.
`Animal Magnetism' sees the Scorpions branching out and expanding from the Lovedrive sound, this has mixed results sometimes it works for instance when they try heavier material such as `The Zoo' and the title track, however it doesn't work as well on the dire ballad `Lady Starlight'. `Animal Magnetism' sounds a lot darker than `Lovedrive' and is less reliant on faster upbeat numbers than `Lovedrive' as well. So this album is less consistent than it's predecessor but still seven of these tracks are either good or excellent only the aforementioned ballad `Lady Starlight' and the rather unspectacular `Falling in Love' let the side down. `Make it Real' opens this album in excellent style with a classic Rudolf Schenker riff and some wonderful harmonised solos that are Matthias Jabs trademark featuring in many of the bands biggest hits such as `Rock You Like a Hurricane' and `No One Like You'. `Don't Make Promises (Your Body Can't Keep)' is an amusing rocker focusing on Herman Rarebell's favourite topic men masquerading as women, his obsession may be unhealthy but it's a great song. `The Zoo' is everyone's favourite from this album , there's a reason for this, it's a masterpiece with its really slow brooding verses and ever so catchy chorus and to top things off a talk box solo, they don't make them like this anymore that's for sure.
Performance wise Matthias Jabs is man of the match here, proving himself once again as an excellent player who is in no way in the shadow of his predecessors. However that said the whole band is on excellent form Klaus displays a versatility that few credit him for. His voice ranges from gritty on `Hold Me Tight' to mellow on `Lady Starlight'. Rudolf Schenker as usual plays very simplistically opting for a similar role as Malcolm Young does in AC/DC, strictly rhythm. This is perhaps why neither of them get any credit as players. Rudolf however does a particularly fine job here with `The Zoo' and `Make It Real' being amongst my favourite Scorpions riffs. Production wise this is album sounds perfect with the sound being crystal clear and the guitars have plenty of bite (or should I say sting! Ha what a imaginative Scorpions related pun, no one will ever use that again). Sadly as the 80's set in the Scorpions got a more and more polished production, with the standard to much reverb on the snare so appearing by `Love At First Sting'
So although this may not be the finest album the Scorpions put out, it certainly is worthy and far better than its reputation. So do yourself a favour instead of buying the latest Desmond Child album masquerading as the Scorpions get this instead. 8/10