With `Face the Heat', the Scorpions show some evidence that they still possess the ability to pen a great tune and there are flashes of the brilliance that placed them in the highest echelons of heavy rock just a few years previous. Yet a lot of the album is clichéd material - lightweight melodies and throwaway rockers that are far too flimsy to stick with the listener. Worse, the slow songs are, for the most part, depressingly mediocre, which is an absolute tragedy for a band that throughout a long career had a strong legacy of writing excellent power ballads. `Face the Heat' certainly starts brightly, with the powerful, brooding metal of `Alien Nation' and the stadium thumper `No Pain, No Gain', but it descends into a mixed bag of half-baked rock songs and cheesy ballads (esp. the bonus tracks). Looking for highpoints, apart from the two opening tracks, `Woman' is a decent love song, thanks to a fine vocal performance from Klaus Meine (though it's no match for `Lady Starlight', let alone `Still Loving You') and `Ship of Fools' has a lively, upbeat and infectious rhythm. But beyond these, it's hard to find much pleasure in this formulaic hard rock.
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