Up points - this is a superbly produced, quality ladden, dripping in melody and modern sounding release with catchy hooks all over the place, from one of the best heavy rock bands around.
Down points - apart from the excellent opener Hour 1, the band never seem to get out of a rather ploddy third gear. There are other "rocky" numbers such as The Game Of Life, 321 and The Cross, but the heavy rythmn guitar work is kept to a minimum and used sparingly in short chuggy bursts similar to that of Linkin Park and Evanescence.
Similarly, there does appear to be an over abundance of (power) ballads too - quite possibly four, though so many of the songs start promisingly and then descend into acoustic (soft) rock blandness.
Having looked at the accompanying booklet, it would seem that this album has the very (un)heavy hand of producer and commercial hit co-writer (I Was Made For Lovin' You by KISS, Poison by Alice Cooper, Dude Looks Like A Lady by Aerosmith and You Give Love A Bad Name and Livin' On A Prayer by Bon Jovi) Desmond Child stamped throughout - he even claims ownership of the Humanity concept (does that make this a concept album then?), so I'm wondering just how much of a real Scorpions album this actually is.
Certainly, better than later releases such as Face The Heat, Pure Instinct and Eye II Eye (oh dear, oh dear), but for true Heavy Rock lovers check 2004's Unbreakable out first, where the blood is far too hot!!!