Kings of Suburbia by Tokio Hotel

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.

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Yes, I did buy these albums

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.

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Soundwave Festival from a young Jacquis eyes

Soundwave festival is just around the corner and I’m getting really excited. This was my dream festival when I was 14/15. I have always wanted to go but I’ve never been able to make it, so this is my first one. I haven’t listened to many of these bands since 2011 and many of them have released many albums. Before I delve into (a lot) of new songs I wanted some time to relive the old music. I’ve spent the last week doing this, listening to the old albums on repeat. I have came up with my a playlist of my favourite songs from back then. My music taste has widened a lot since then, and I’ve started to listen to some other bands in the line up, but I am sticking to my old favourites for this playlist because I’m feeling nostalgic and want a little walk down memory lane. In two weeks I will be making another playlist of my favourite songs for Soundwave, old and new.

Dance, Dance – Fall Out Boy

I fell in love with Fall Out Boy around the same time I loved Panic! at the Disco which was in 2008. I had just started grade 8 and I met this girl who would turn out to be the friend who showed me most of the bands in this list. She was in love with FOB and P!ATD and thought that I was pretty cool that I had heard of Thnks Fr Th Mmrs and I Write Sins Not Tragedies by them respectively. We bonded over it, and became really good friends. I remember going to her house and she decimated me at Singstar singing Dance, Dance. I’m really fond of that memory and I still don’t think I could beat her singing Dance, Dance to this day. I loved the songs catchy lyrics and beat, and just how fast Patrick Stump could sing.

Friends and Alibis – Escape the Fate 

I started listening to Escape the Fate in 2009, I first fell in love with ‘Situations’ and ‘Not Good Enough For Truth in Cliche’. I got a little bit (too) obsessed with them, listening to them all day every day. My favourite song on their older album (when lead singer Ronnie Radke was still with them) was Friends and Alibis. I can’t explain why that was my favourite song then. But I really liked the almost whiny vocals, fast beat and Ronnie Radke’s arrogance ‘they always told me I was gorgeous in a way’ and you know what, I thought he was the most gorgeous thing ever.

This War is Ours – Escape the Fate

I was quite torn between liking old and new Escape the Fate. The old lead singer Ronnie Radke went to prison and was then replaced with Craig Mabbit. I thought they were both pretty amazing, but some of their other fans were hardcore old or new ETF. I can’t compare the two even now and I couldn’t bring myself to pick one song for ETF. My favourite song with their new lead singer is This War is Ours. It was their heaviest song on that album and I really liked the screaming and then some whiny singing in the chorus.

Remembering Sunday – All Time Low

 The first time I had heard All Time Low was in 2009 and I listened to them religiously. I remember when they released their ‘Nothing Personal’ album. My favourite song back then was definitely Remembering Sunday. I loved the duet with Juliet Simms, and hearing the story relayed through them singing about it. I also liked that it was quite a serious song differing from most of their others. It really reminds me of my time in grade 9 and 10, I travel right back there.

Snuff – Slipknot

I started getting into heavier music in 2010. One of the bands I listened to was Slipknot, I had a poster of them in their masks right next to my bed. My mum and grandma would make a comment like ‘how can you sleep next to that scary poster?’ every time they would see it. Snuff was my favourite Slipknot song because it started off really soft (for them) and gradually got angrier and heaver the longer the story and song went on. It was just a different way for me to hear music and I really enjoyed it.

Heart Shaped Glasses – Marilyn Manson

I went through a bit of a Marilyn Manson stage in grade 10. I even read his autobiography at age 14, at that time I remember my Dad was saying that Slash’s autobiography might be inappropriate for me to read. Which was ironic as I had read probably one of the most shocking and inappropriate book for someone at 14 (my parents did not know I read it at that time). My favourite song back then was Heart Shaped Glasses as I really liked the distorted vocals combined with the drums which made it almost sound like marching.

Young – Hollywood Undead

In grade 10 I got really into Hollywood Undead. My favourite song by them was Young as it was quite a serious song which I could relate to in some sense. Many of their songs are about partying and I found them really funny, but this is about youth and the feeling of not being able to do anything. ‘We are young, but we have heart, born in this world as it falls apart. We are strong but we don’t belong’. It’s also a strong song musically, and combines some rapping and rock so it makes it interesting to listen to.

The Westerner – Falling in Reverse

In 2011 Falling in Reverse finally released their album, I had been waiting on it for ages. ETF’s old frontman Ronnie Radke had made this band whilst he was in jail. I was really excited to hear them. The Westerner was written whilst him and ETF were still feuding and he throws a bit of shade at them. I think it’s quite funny, and they have both done it to each other. I really loved his voice on this track, really whiny and arrogant. It makes it interesting to listen to. I remember back at school a good friend and I would listen to FIR every time the rest of the group would talk in depth about car motors. We bonded over FIR and it takes me back to some really good times at high school.

So that was a little trip down memory lane for me. I loved looking back at it, and in a fortnight I’ll give a proper review of some of the bands I have found. m