Top positive review
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Underrated even today! A great album with 4 Bonus Tracks
on 8 March 2006
Coming out from a law-suit (after their label change) and a huge line-up change, which leaves legendary guitarist-songwriter Kai Hansen out of the band, Helloween come back with "Pink Bubbles Go Ape". An album bashed by music critics due to the fact that the band changed their music, to a small effect, when compared to their highly praised Keeper Of The Seven Keys records. All in all a memorable album with several highlights and a strong release if compared to many future outputs of the band.
"Pink Bubbles..." admitably has a really strange, even silly title but this is not the case with the song writing. The music departs from the continuous double-bass power metal stile and is enriched with blues and rock influences, together with some more mainstream ideas as well. Some songs are softer than the usual tracks found on the Keeper records, reminding more of melodic metal than power metal, but that's not a drawback for sure.
Without diving into each and every song, I'm going to name only the outstanding ones! "The Chance" is a mid-paced heavy metal anthem. The song contains some of the album's best vocals, an infectious chorus, a jaw dropping guitar solo, impressive bass lines and is the most known track from this release. "Mankind" is a great progressive epic, with wonderful musical and vocal variations. "Someone's Crying" is the only song that could be categorized as pure power metal (fast double-base drumming), a truly memorable track with fast guitar solos, a wonderful chorus and impressive drumming, that hankers back to the band's previous outputs. "Kids of the Century" is another fast song with clever lyrics, another great chorus and outstanding guitar solos. Finally, "Your Turn" is a beautiful rock/blues ballad with amazing vocals.
The new guitarists Roland Grapow proves to be a worthy replacement, as his guitar playing is outstanding and he also contributes some great tracks to the album. Vocalist Michael Kiske has improved his vocal technique even more, delivering his best vocal performance up to that point. The other 3 band members, especially bass player Markus, continue to show how talented musicians they are.
The main drawback of this album was its thin production, but now this release offers a "remaster" of the original sound, thus a truly improved sound quality. The other drawback are tracks Pink Bubbles Go Ape, I'm Doing Fine Crazy Man and Heavy Metal Hamsters but the 4 Bonus Tracks make up for that one also (especially the memorable You Run With The Pack and the cover of Blue Suede Shoes).
You should definitely give this album a chance, if you enjoyed Helloween's previous releases, as you can hear how the band progresses and doesn't continue repeating itself for the sake of record sales.