Mind The Gap - Scooter
Cameron Rochette | St Andrews, Scotland | 09/17/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The German techno band Scooter released its latest album, "Mind the Gap", in 2004. As always, scooter has been on of the best European techno bands around, and this album is another example of how the band can create unique-sounding songs with innovative chord progressions, varied singing, and of course, H. P. Baxxter's somewhat annoying yelling of various phrases. However, I would not say that this is Scooter's best album. It's good, but it's not great. Unlike a couple other of their albums, this one does not flow smoothly from track to track, and there are a couple that I would skip when listening to "Mind the Gap" from start to finish.
KILLER BEES: The opening track is not really a song at all. One hears many hundreds of bees buzzing around, and a recording from the English Underground that repeats the phrase, "Mind the gap...stand clear of the doors please." Hen the track breaks out into a few solemn notes from a keyboard, and the track ends. Even though it's hardly a song, it's great entertainment for an opening track.
ONE (ALWAYS HARDCORE): This is one of the best songs on the album. It is really designed to pump you up, and sounds as if it was recorded in a real stadium. It opens and closes with a few notes from an acoustic guitar, which makes it a little interesting. I think what really makes this piece a true pump-up, are the parts where the "thousands" of people sing the chorus, even though it's all computer-generated fake sounds. I think this is one of the few songs I could truly never sick of listening to.
SHAKE THAT!: I don't know why this song seems to receive so much praise. It is a simply a remix of that stupid disco song, "Shake Your Booty", or whatever it's called. It hardly has any originality to it. The only thing different is that Baxxter adds a bunch of his own cheesy lyrics to it that, as usual don't make any sense. However, I guess it's a classic song that people still like, so it's not too bad. I just think it's a bit overrated.
MY EYES ARE DRY: This is a boring track. You can't understand the skewed lyrics, the beat is hardly techno, and the instrumentation is lame. The highlight of the song is the woman singing to five in French.
ALL I WANNA DO: This is a great song. The opening drum solo is really awesome, and is the perfect running race beat. The synthesizers on this song are particularly good. The highlight of the song is the singing. This song is apparently a remake of a Sheryl Crow song, and it's one of those high-pitched techno voices. Normally, I'm like everyone else and hate those annoying high-pitched voices, but for some reason, it sounds REALLY good on this song. It's accompanied by a cool piano chord riff that repeats a lot, and transforms into electronic keyboard. This song is just pure fun.
JIGGA JIGGA: The sixth song on "Mind the Gap" is probably the best, after One (Always Hardcore) The synthesizer on this piece is absolutely phenomenal, and the MC's lyrics aren't too bad. Then there is a beautiful singing solo by Nikk, who is some female singer, which is repeated towards the end of the song. What I really like about this song is the orchestration of the actual music. I think Jigga Jigga is a bonus track, but it's a classic Scooter song.
PANTIES WANTED: Panties Wanted has got to be the dumbest song I've ever heard. It is half-techno, half-rock. The guitar solo is somewhat amusing, but becomes boring quickly. The song sounds like it is being performed. The lyrics talk about how the band asks all the women in the stadium to take off their clothes and throw them onto the stage. Perhaps Scooter is trying to arouse the listener in one way or another, but it's a very lame song.
TRANCE-ATLANTIC: This is a true trance song. It is over seven minutes long, and is somewhat repetitive, but this is typical of trance in comparison to Scooter's mainframe of techno. It has some good keyboards and chords on an organ, and is definitely one of the better songs on this album. What I like about it is how it provides a break for the listener to listen to something a little different for one song before going back to techno songs.
STRIPPED: The worse song on the track. It isn't even by Scooter. It's by Martin L. Gore, and it's not any sort of dance song. It's just some pop song inserted into the album for no reason. Again we have some erotic lyrics like Panties Wanted, except even worse. I honestly don't know why it's even on this album.
SUAVEMENTE: This is a great Latino-techno song, combining traditional dance music with a South American flare to spice things up. It starts off as any normal techno song, but slowly elements of salsa begin to emerge, with simple chord progressions followed by a Hispanic singing these great lyrics in Spanish. This song just makes you want to get up and dance the way the Latinos do. There is also a great brass section of trumpets and trombones playing along to the beat. I absolutely love this song!
THE CHASER: Here we have another classic Scooter song, with all the usual tricks, and classic words by H. P. Baxxter. What makes this song interesting is an operatic voice that sings along for the majority of the piece.
THE AVENGER'S BACK: I think this song pleases different people. Some like it and some do not. It's alright, and it's definitely not bad, I just don't think it's the best. I think it would be best described as "groovy" with the horns section making a big difference.
TRIP TO NOWHERE: The last track is also bonus, and is another, shorter trance song. This is another one of my favorite tracks on "Mind the Gap". I would say that it's better than Trance-Atlantic. The music is just overall more interesting. It's almost lonely and sad sounding, and I really like songs that sound like this. This great closings track for when you're done listening to this album.
The second album is a live recording of a bunch of Scooter hit singles. Not much to comment on there, (because they're all from different albums), but it's also pretty good.
On a scale from one to ten, I would give "Mind the Gap" a seven. It's not the best, but hey it's Scooter. I would still argue that there are several really good songs, and only about three that are really bad. I would recommend this album to all techno fans, but it's not so good that I would rescue it from a house fire. If you're a hardcore Scooter fan, then you should definitely buy this album just to add to the collection, and because this Scooter album seems to be advertised more than any other.
Scooter kicks it up a notch once again.
J. Petraska | New Boston, MI United States | 11/28/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"First of all, I'm extremely disappointed in Amazon for listing this product so late. It came out in Europe on Nov. 8th and just now it's here. However, this album is definately worth the wait and is Scooter's best album yet.
The album starts off with "Killer Bees" which is a sub-par intro when compared to "Ignition" or "MC's Missing" from the Sheffield and The Stadium Techno Experience. However, as soon as this track ends, the party begins and never stops till the last second of "Trip to Nowhere".
Next up is "One (Always Hardcore)", a beautifully done party track. This track begins with some usual guitar but the samples kick in soon after with H.P. yelling "I am the horseman!". The chorus really shines in this song. Everything is timing so well and the mix of H.P. and crowd samples yelling "Yeaaaa! Yeaaa! Yeaaa! I feel hardcore!" is simply amazing. This song will be the 2nd single from the album and released Dec. 6th in Europe. The single version is longer and includes a different mix. In my opinion, it's even better.
"Shake That!", the first single from the album, comes next and, although very different from your standard Scooter track, I always enjoy it. It's a cover of KC and The Sunshine Band's "Shake Your Booty". I know what you're thinking. Disco? Come on now. Through H.P.'s great MCing and Jay and Rick's great keyboarding, they turn a subpar 70s song into a GREAT disco-house song. And remember: "Life without knowledge is death in disguise!". ;)
"My Eyes Are Dry" seems like more of a filler track than anything. It's under 3 minutes long but is still enjoyable. The entire song is rough and it's hard to hear H.P's lyrics and the guitar riffs. However, I do enjoy the keyboards in this song as they show through very clear.
The next track "All I Wanna Do" has the greatest beginning I have ever heard. It begins with some very fast drumming, almost something you'd expect from Stomp! and suddenly explodes into a huge bassline. The HPV (high-pitched voice) is back again but only appears in the chorus. As you could have guessed it is indeed a cover of Cheryl Crow's "All I Wanna Do". This track sounds a lot like the new version of "Weekend!" but I think "Weekend!" is a little bit better.
Although an old track, "Jigga Jigga!" is included as a bonus track on the album. It's always been a favorite of mine because the mix of trance and dance is awesome. Rick's wife sings the trance vocals. Great track.
When I first saw the title "Panties Wanted" over a month ago, I almost died laughing. However, like "Shake That!", this song isn't necessarily normal Scooter material. The verses are hard to describe but the chorus includes guitar riffs! This song is very good and shows some variation in this album as far as styles go.
A definate favorite "Trance-Atlantic" tips the scales at 7:53 minutes long. However, this trance track is the best I've heard as you can almost feel the song evolving. The melody is amazing and has no lyrics. There is one part where a choir begins to sing in the background and that is definately the best part of the track (4:50 - the end). Amazing.
"Stripped" is a cover of Depeche Mode's track. This is the ballad of the album. At first, I wasn't a big fan but now I really enjoy it as you can feel the song flow well. H.P.'s lyrical ability shine through very well in this track as well. Closest song to compare to this one might be "Summer Wine" from Sheffield but with no acoustics and all keyboards.
Unfortunately, "Suavemente" is my least favorite track of the album. Although latin and hard house are great club genres, Scooter's attempt to mix the two comes off as rough and doesn't flow. The latin chorus almost seems pasted on with no real transition from the hard house bassline. However, kudos to Scooter for the attempt.
"The Chaser" is definately the masterpiece of the album. Much like "Jigga Jigga!" but even better! The chorus is great and the trance vocals make the song even more explosive. A huge party track and trance track, "The Chaser" will definately appeal to fans of both genres. Amazing song.
Remember the song "Knock on Wood" by Amii Grant? "The Avenger's Back" is a cover of that song. Although the song seems doomed from the start, H.P. helps the song from not going downhill and is a decent track. The verses include great lyrical skill from H.P. and the chorus is him yelled "Knock on Wood!". Not bad.
The end track "Trip To Nowhere" is a great trance, chill-out track. This song is a great end track to a great album. It's about 5 minutes long and like "Trance-Atlantic" includes no vocals.
I got my copy of this album about 2 weeks ago and still have not taken it out of my car CD player. This album is amazing and it seems to flow so well. DEFINATELY worth the buy.
As far as the second CD, I'm disappointed because released the same show in their download shop about 2 months ago. It's nice to have an "official" copy but I wish they would have made the 2nd CD a video of the concert.
But, once again, an outstanding album and by far, Scooter's best yet."
I would barely give this album 5 out of 5
chicks terminator | southern california | 02/12/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It is a close call really, but I guess considering the album never really gets truly bad and has some of scooter's best songs ever, what more can you ask for? The live cd is also amazing."