Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Helloween "Unarmed: Best of 25th Anniversary"

Unarmed: Best of 25th Anniversary
Reviewed by Rob Acocella

Helloween did something very cool for their 25th Anniversary album: They put out a best-of compilation that isn't exactly a compilation in the traditional sense. What they did was take all the songs they considered to be the best from the last 2.5 decades and rearranged them with the help of a orchestra, a choir, and various other collaborators. What you have are brand new, more epic versions of all your favorite songs.

In theory, this is absolutely awesome, and when the album started up with "Dr. Stein" I was really into it. A few songs later I was still digging it, and then I hit the medley tune called "The Keeper's Trilogy" which combines "Helloween," "Keeper of the Seven Keys," and "The King For 1,000 Years." By the time this 17-minute monster was done, so was I. I really liked this new approach to their music at first, but after a while it got tired, and I think cramming those tunes into one track is what did me in. Everything after that sounded the same. Perhaps I need to be a more hardcore Helloween fan to really appreciate this kind of thing, but I really did like it at first, I promise you I did.

My guess is that even the long-time die-hard fans are going to either absolutely love this, or absolutely hate this. Let's face it, you either LOVE when your favorite band does something different with their songs, or you HATE when they do something different. I do give them a lot of credit for doing this and I can't say that it's lacking in musicianship, I just think the vision is lost on me. What I do like about it though, is that they didn't do what everyone else does and release the EXACT SAME SONGS you already own, just on one disc. People can make their own mixtapes, we don't need the artists to do that for us, so bravo for doing something out of the norm.

Rating: 2/5

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