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Gotthard - Lipservice (CD)

Gotthard
Lipservice
by Eleni Mouratoglou at 12 June 2005, 2:02 PM

Lipservice is Gotthard's 8th album. It came out on June 6th, 2005. There is no need to deal with the band's bio this time, as the Lift'U'Up single review was a first class chance to do so. Therefore, I refer you to that review and we can go straight ahead with commenting on Lipservice.
The first impression I got while listening to the Swiss local heroes' latest work was that its production is maybe the most important positive feature and definitely the most determinative. Although I don't like generalizations and clichés I believe the technical dimension of Gotthard's music is once more as accurate as a Swiss clock.
The vocals and all the instruments stand out and fit the ear of even the less experienced Hard Rock listener. All this polish despite seeming quite sterilized some times makes Lipservice accessible to their huge fan base in their homeland, who would probably support them anyway, but the band realizes that they owe their success much more to their compatriots than the international Hard Rock community and they have chosen to keep that in mind. Let's not forget that their sales in Switzerland approach 2 millions and, what the hell, we all know that Switzerland is not exactly a traditional power in terms of such music.
The same Pop attitude also passes onto the music which is the only wise choice under the circumstances. Free from the restrictions of their AOR roots Gotthard present songs that preserve the Hard Rock substantial background but easily maneuver in more mainstream and commercial directions. Fortunately they manage to avoid underrating both the fans' and their own standards.
The compositions are modern but they are also full of hints that don't discourage the specialized listeners whether their satisfaction is a priority or not. Lipservice is full of Krokus, Deep Purple and Whitesnake influences and gives a great answer to all the Gotsofts. Gotthard were pure Rock'N'Rollers in the first place and this cannot be just swept off. After all, this conflict between commerciality and quality has started to tire a lot of people including me. The fact that the band consciously decided to set the prejudice that brands a huge portion of our kind aside should be praised and not condemned. And if Gotthard can pay tribute to holy monsters while maintaining a steady profile and at the same time sell millions of albums to people who listen to Pop or Modern Rock, then they are kicking ass!
Since Steve Lee's exceptional voice is probably the only widely accepted thing about Gotthard and judging the musicians' craftsmanship further from the basics is not exactly my responsibility in Metal Temple magazine, I can only suggest you formed your own opinion by getting Lipservice. What I would like to point out are some other interesting aspects like the old-fashioned in the 70's way keyboards throughout the album, the weird, primitive percussions in Lift'U'Up, Steve Lee sounding like David Coverdale in Cupid Arrow, the pomp intro of Anytime Anywhere and the Bon Jovi-ish choruses.
Although Gotthard are not among my favorite bands, in fact due to their modernity, I had a very good time with this album. I listened to some of the songs more that 20 times and never got bored. And-what is the fundamental thing here - I learned to respect them. I recommend Lipservice to listeners with open minds who will for sure like it and I recommend it strongly to listeners with narrow minds. It could help them recover.
- Album Highlights: Dream On, Lift'U'Up, Cupid Arrow, I Wonder and I've Seen An Angel Cry.

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
All We Are
Dream On
Lift'U'Up
Everything I Want
Cupid Arrow
I Wonder
I'm Alive
I've Seen An Angel Cry
Stay For The Night
Anything Anywhere
Said & Done
The Other Side Of Me
Nothing Left At All
And Then Goodbye
Lineup:
Steve Lee - Vocals
Leo Leoni - Guitar
Marc Lynn - Bass
Hena Habegger - Drums
Freddy Scherer - Guitar
Record Label: Nuclear Blast Records
     


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