Tokio Hotel are back #theboysareback. After a five year hiatus they have returned with their fifth studio album, Kings of Suburbia. However, this is not the album that many of their fans were expecting. During a 5 year hiatus the band changed, most notably is the sound and lyrics of their new record, and I love it.
Tokio Hotel formed back in 2001 under the name Devilish. Bill Kaulitz and his twin brother Tom Kaulitz, Gustav Schäfer and Georg Listing formed as singer, guitarist, drummer and bassist respectively. In 2005 they released a studio album Schrei as Tokio Hotel, which was performed solely in German.
In 2007 they released their second German album Zimmer 483 and their first English album Scream. The songs on the Scream were all English translations of their other songs, like Monsoon (Durch Den Monsun), Don’t Jump (Spring Nicht), and 1000 Oceans (1000 Meere). Then in 2009 they released Humanoid, their first album to be released in both German and English. This album was a lot more electronic than the previous ones, but still kept to the bands rock image.
Then Tokio Hotel fell off the edge of the world until now with Kings of Suburbia. I have a number of fans being really upset with this album, and that is because it is electronic and experimental, whereas in the past the albums were pop rock. I started listening to Tokio Hotel 7 years ago (which makes me feel really old). Back in 2008 I was 12 going on 13, so naturally I have changed quite a bit since then. Well, I hope so. Back then Scream had been out for a year, and that was when they were in the height of the pop rock sound. I loved it. But now, 7 years on from then I’m really glad that they tried something new. In this album they have been drawing influences from the LA nightlife, where Bill and Tom Kaulitz currently reside. It’s refreshing for them, and for me. And If I want to listen to pop rock songs I’ll go back to those albums, it’s not that difficult.
The album kicks off with Feel It All with the line strobe lights flashing out of your eyes paired with a very upbeat chorus. It instantly takes me to a scene of a crowd bopping up and down with flashes of lights, which is what they were probably going for. I really liked this as a start to this album because it really separates them from everything they have done before. It’s clear that they want this album to be different and they’re upfront about it.
One of the heavier songs on the album is Stormy Weather. It starts off very mysterious and a little darker than usual with lyrics such as The end of our zone, undetected, unknown. Sometime at night I see people cry their goodbyes into hypnotical skies’. The lyrics really intrigued me and I was excited to hear what was going to happen. However, the chorus was quite repetitive and irritating. I had high expectations for this song, the start was so strong and the chorus just lost me. It is a song that I really want to enjoy but I don’t, which is a shame.
The song Run, Run, Run is a beautiful contrast to the rest of the album. As a ballad it was really simple with just piano and vocals, but the simplicity makes it melodious. Love Who Loves You Back is the lead single of this album, and it’s easy to see why. It’s such an easy but interesting song to listen to. The lyrics are quite sexual but that’s the point of the song. The vocals are beautiful, and when paired with the chilled electronic music and giggling in the background it makes it a very interesting song.
My favourite song on the album Covered in Gold. It is one of their more experimental songs. There are lots of things going on and every time I listen to the song I hear a new layer of it and I fall more and more in love with it. Even just listening to the vocals, some parts are quite odd but then it’s coupled with something melodious and it’s really catchy. Girl Got A Gun is a very similar experience, however a completely different song. It is easily their weirdest song on the album but I think it’s great. It can become a little bit repetitive (and annoying when it’s stuck in your head at work for hours). The video is also quite shocking and left of center which is probably what they were going for. I thought it was quite amusing (especially reading the comments of people who just don’t get it).
This album was quite an interesting experience, definitely different to what they have made previously. I don’t want to overload you with information on all the songs (there are 15 and I’ll probably end up repeating myself) and I’d also like you to experience the music by yourself as well. You don’t need me telling you what every song is like when you can listen to it yourself, I just wanted to give you a little taste. The songs I’d recommend are Covered in Gold, Feel It All, and We Found Us.