Just like fashion, the music and bands we listen to can become extremely personal, especially if we discover the musicians ourselves. Tokio Hotel has always been this kind of band for me and a million other people. On the top of their success, after touring Asia, America and even playing few shows in London, you would have thought that nothing can stop this band. And nothing did, they’ve stopped themselves. Taking a break for 4 years, the band separated. With no music, videos, and no sign of life.
The album ‘Kings of Suburbia ‘ debuted at number 1 in 20 countries of Europe including Germany, France and Poland, also having their album in the top 10 charts with its arrival only on October 3. Looks like those German super stars are heading for another massive success. The band that had their debut album ‘Schrei’ (eng. Scream) in 2005 took over the whole Europe and caused a massive hysteria in teenagers as well as the adults.
With having the rock pop, scream and electro pop and humanoid, Tokio Hotel worked with many different genres of music but for ‘Kings of Suburbia’ the band decided to go into a completely different direction than with their previous albums. Spending 4 years on creating the current record, the band have developed their own production style, music sound and image.
“Kings of Suburbia” is a mix of different genres that the band has worked with over the years, this included alternative rock, pop rock and electronic pop, all combined together to create this album. And it sounds nothing like their previous records. As the twin brothers, the lead singer Bill Kaulitz and guitarist, of the band, Tom Kaulitz, spent the last few years in Los Angeles, shutting down from the music industry, their time off has influenced this album a lot. And mostly it was LA’s nightlife. The whole band wrote most of the song lyrics, but the responsibility of producing went to Tom Kaulitz for the first time since their debut almost 10 years ago. With recording the live instruments, later mixed on the computer creating the sound of the “KOS” album. It was definitely an album that was created from start to finish by the whole band.
“Strobe lights, flashing out of your eyes, I could feel you all night, I won’t let you down” Quite poetic, romantic and it touches deep, the song is called “Feel it All” after all. Being it the bands upcoming and 4th single of their newest album, the catchy song with slow beat, it’s an ultimate party song, ideal for a club night (especially the remixed versions).
The following song was a bit different “Stormy Weather” is a bit heavier, with synchronised voice of the vocalist, Bill Kaulitz, the first part of the song lyrically makes sense “I can’t breathe in, I can’t breathe out cause the air fading. We can’t breathe in can’t breathe out, we are suffocating.” However it looks like the boys spent all their energy on the first few verses of the song as the chorus is structured out of Bill’s synchronized voice, “It’s a stormy weather.” Repeated 10 times, very poetic but at least it’s catchy.
And as we are on the subject of poetic songs “Run Run Run” is a slow ballad, featuring only piano and the lead singers heartbroken voice, say whatever you want, this man can sing. The song reminds me of the original Tokio Hotel music style and lyrics, full of meaning and organic music. For those of you who like ballads this song is the one for sure!
“Love Who Loves You Back” on the other hand gives me mixed feelings not so much musically but more lyrically. “Is it sneak in your bed” Are they being serious? And the music video to this song is even more sexual than anyone thought, but let’s face it these musicians aren’t 15 anymore, however going from the innocent music videos that was pure about music and not controversy to a music video that is so similar to almost every other artist in the music industry in one go, just to make everyone talk. But despite the music video the song is surely one of those that can listened to over and over again.
Another love song from the album is “Covered in Gold” from my hearing it’s the most produced song from the studio the Tokio Hotel’s history, however it’s one of these songs that the more it’s listened to, the more it catches. I find the meaning behind it quite interesting, just because some is rich and famous it doesn’t mean they can have everything, and love is one of those things for sure.
And just like “Stormy Weather” this song in the chorus is quite respective, and I mean a lot, I mean by 16 times in row of “Girl Got A Gun” with a occasional “Bang Bang”. Girl got a gun, okay we get it. Is this song about women’s empowerment? It sure sounds like it. Being this is the song that was one of the first releases from the album (with rather disturbing music video) many fans of the band got bored with it , some are still loyal listeners. It was a song that was the loudest during their “Feel it All Tour: The Club Experience” tour in Islington Assembly Hall concert few weeks ago. I would call this song as one of those that just wants you to get up and dance.
Another hit in our opinion is “Kings of Suburbia.” This song on the album is named after a prayer has a typical pop rock sound. We love the royal theme to the title of it, I would call it the classic Tokio Hotel song, with the beat of a drum, sound of an electric guitar, deep sound of a bass and backing vocals of the whole band. It clearly has a team effort in it. “We are the kings and queens of suburbia. Somewhere in time we don’t know where we are” the lyrical mix of kings and queen, which looks like it’s meant to represent luxury and suburbia that looks like it represents the not so high life, this is a song on the album that could be interpreted in so many ways. And we are loving it. Because that’s what music meant to do, it meant to be personal.
Another song from “Kings of Suburbia” that was inspired by the clubbing scene and nights out was “We Found Us”. “ We sound us, us, in this club, club. We found us, us. It hurts but it feels right” it looks like the band had a bit too much fun whilst making this album, if such a thing is possible of course. We like the mix of the pop sounding mixed with the guitars and drums that create an ideal beat for this song, that is so easy to listen to on a day to day bases but it can for sure used in a club.
If heavy songs are not necessarily your taste and you like to cry a little whilst listing to music, this song is the one! “Invaded” was written about a relative of Kaulitz twins who passed away. Another piano ballad that proves that the lead singer can sing and has great voice when not mixed on a computer. Very pure, with moving lyrics “Dead with all the pain we shared. Dead with all the glory we had. It’s over” This song is one of favourites for its simplicity. Who said the music needs to be full of different instruments and musical sounds engineering. Keep it simple.
“Never Let You Down” is quite a chaotic song, probably one of the most chaotic ones from the album. With the remixed guitar of Tom Kaulitz, drums of Gustav Schafer and keyboards played by Dave Roth and Patrick Benzner, this song is yet another song that unlike from the other records, that will make you want to get up and dance. As satisfied by the lead singer, Bill Kaulitz, this song is inspired by the bands experience with fake people, and as we all know in the entertainment industry there are few for sure. “No, I’ll never let you, down, you down” the lyrics say for themselves that we should never let people down.
“Louder Than Love” is the last song for the standard album version of the album. The song is meant to share the message that is clear and simple, and quite cliché when it comes to music, but let’s face it, it’s the most important thing. “Nothing’s louder than love” is simply sending the message that we all know. The sound of it, is another experimentation that is the result of the 4 years of studio time of the Tokio Hotel boys. I would categorize it as pop song with few rock sounds that are catchy and easy to listen.
“To the people in the new world. Haven’t you heard everybody’s got a great life, we’re livin’ in a blur.” The opening few lines of the 12th song of the album called “Masquerade” is a quite calm song but it isn’t a ballad with remixed guitar solo and the end of the song, with rhythmic drums and bass this song is very much based on today’s culture of internet, texting and hiding behind a computer screen. “In time, we hide, in our masquerade of heroes” is a metaphor of how the internet can change who we really are comparing to who we are in real life. It’s a honest and truthful message, as I’m sure we can all agree that nothing is always the same as it appears online.
The first thing we hear at the beginning of “Dancing in The Dark” is a steady rhythm of electric guitar, a classic soft rock solo, but later it ideally progressed into a mixture of house music mixed with drums, bass and the lead singers voice signing another love lyrics “Dancing in the dark, to cure my heart”. I’m not sure how dancing in the dark could cure a heart but this over 3 minute song is lyrically quite impressive comparing the their over 2 English albums. It’s not another dance song and it’s surely not just another typical popular song. Cleverly mixed music generals make this song quite interesting and unique. If you are sick of hearing the same music genres over and over again, listing to this song.
Looks like the 5th album of these German rockers is full of party anthems and personal lyrics. The song is starting off softly but finishes with a bang! With the rhythmic beat of the drum and the sound engineering that just wants you to get up and wave your hands in the air, it give away such a clubbing feeling to it. In my opinion “The Heart Get No Sleep” is one of these songs that can be listened over and over again, the sound of it is a unique combination between rock music and pop. “I’m fallin’ in the feels like flyin’ ” I’m sure many fans of the band where falling the feels when hearing this album.
The last and final song of the album is “Great Day” and I think there wouldn’t be a better one to close the album playlist. Starting off with rhythmic bass of Georg Listing, and the vocalist, Bill Kaulitz soft voice singing the first lines “Yeah my heart is open and my eyes are swollen” with lyrics like these no wonder these 4 guys won over hearts of thousands of fans. “Great Day” is yet another song that is kept pure, without any huge computer changes done to it, with deep and meaningful lyrics such as “It’s a great day to say goodbye, it’s ok cause, I’ll be alright” quite uplifting words if you ask me. It maybe not be a great day to say goodbye but this is a great song to end the album with. Overall, “Kings of Suburbia” isn’t clearly an album that blends in with the other pop/rock albums out there. It’s ideal mix of the old Tokio Hotel sound with the music that is currently popular without sounding the same.
The music video for “Feel it All” will be out on 27th March 2015.
The band is currently touring all over Europe and later heading to Asia, America and Australia.
‘Kings of Suburbia’ is out now in the UK.
You can get your physical copy on Amazon.co.uk.