Tokio Hotel
Dream Machine


3.0
good

Review

by Dan Foster USER (5 Reviews)
March 5th, 2017 | 63 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: In an attempt to reinvent themselves, Tokio Hotel have created their most concise and enjoyable record to date.

It’s amazing to see how quickly time flies. It’s something everyone says and everyone discovers at one point or another but it’s also a discovery we have over and over again, with each discovery being just as significant as the last. I remember middle school me being entranced by a young Bill Kaulitz when I first saw the music video for “Ready, Set, Go!” air on MTV. I didn’t think too much of their music at the time but I was more than happy to see any music video I could with Bill in it; but I digress. Fast-forward to 2014 and Tokio Hotel returned after 5 years of silence with a mediocre record, trading in faux-edgy pop rock for a more mainstream appeal. Now the band has released their 80s synth-pop inspired album Dream Machine; claimed to be “the record we’ve always wanted to make”, have Tokio Hotel finally found their sound or will their dreams fall short"

For starters, the band has certainly taken the synth-pop transition to heart as synths dominate the album; the opener and lead single “Something New” kicks things off with atmospheric, almost dream like waves of tones as Bill effortlessly floats above them with a soothing vocal performance. Meanwhile tracks like “Dream Machine” offer a much more bouncy and upbeat rhythm. While the instrumentation throughout Dream Machine is nothing incredibly unique or complex it manages to keep itself varied enough to remain interesting without sounding incredibly disjointed or inconsistent. Several of the tracks such as “Elysa” and “Better” open with emotive piano leads before fading back behind the synthesizers as they take of the rest of the song. Album highlight “Easy” is the most energetic and most emotive performance that the band may have ever done. The multilayered synth lines and vocal effects echo an effect much like Porter Robinson’s “Sad Machine”. The instrumentals of the album have certainly been done before and better, but Dream Machine is more than commendable effort for a band that sounds like they are finally coming into their own.

While the lyrics of the album drift away from the overt sexual themes and innuendos exhibited in Kings of Suburbia; instead they primarily focus on aspects of relationships of the past and future. For the most part these lyrics are pretty benign, if not a bit cheesy, but they show that Tokio Hotel still have ample room for improvement. Moreover, the song writing of Dream Machine gets particularly lazy on the latter half of the album. Songs such as “Better” and “As Young As We Are” offer one-phrase choruses that repeat over and over again, making the songs feel longer than they actually are. “Better” actually uses the word “better” about 61 times in its duration of less than four minutes. When songs do branch into different territory, lyrically speaking, one would think it would break the monotony of the album; unfortunately title track, “Dream Machine”, talks about cutting loose and getting high, and not in an interesting manner either.

It wouldn’t be right to talk about Tokio Hotel without talking about their poster child and front man Bill Kaulitz. While he has proven to be a fairly competent vocalist in the past more often than not Kaulitz sings with air-y voice this time around; while this adds sense of emotion or distress that heightens certain moments of the album it also sounds as if he is afraid to really hit some of the notes he is going for. It’s not that he is a bad vocalist either, he demonstrates an impressive range on Dream Machine and shows some really solid falsettos on tracks like “Something New” but it just seems like Kaulitz’s performance just could have been so much more. A more dynamic performance from Bill Kaulitz could have been profoundly beneficial to this record.

In an attempt to reinvent themselves, Tokio Hotel have created their most concise and enjoyable record to date. While it is far from a perfect record the band has shown significant improvements in both song writing and performances. Dream Machine manages to be a fun and catchy record that will hopefully mark the beginning of a new chapter in the band’s career. The album is mature enough to not only bring in a new audience for the band but also close enough to their pop sensibilities to keep up with their long time fan base. Dream Machine may not win any awards for it’s musicianship but it is definitely worth a listen for those looking for an enjoyable synth-pop record.


user ratings (28)
Chart.
2.5
average


Comments:Add a Comment 
dfevil085
March 5th 2017


1301 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Pleasantly surprised by this one. Constructive criticism will always be appreciated!

bloc
March 5th 2017


53406 Comments


Damn even that album cover is straight ripped off

Digging: The Presets - Hi Viz

sempiturtle
March 5th 2017


1518 Comments


Wtf did these guys actually make a good album.

dfevil085
March 5th 2017


1301 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Such wondrous times, isn't it?

Hurricanslash
March 5th 2017


1830 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

And a few years ago people called me crazy for saying that they are gaining potential. HAH.



I really liked KoS, but this is just objectively a much better record. I agree with pretty much all of your criticisms, but from pure enjoyability, this is an easy 4 for me.

dfevil085
March 5th 2017


1301 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This was a lot more enjoyable than I thought it would be, I may bump it up to 3.5.

And thanks! I may need to relisten to KoS after this but I'm interested to see where they go from here.

Snide
March 5th 2017


7050 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Was gonna review this but you beat me to it lol.

Album rules.

DatBeefPudding
March 5th 2017


1909 Comments


are there anymore songs like what if?

DoofusWainwright
March 5th 2017


20001 Comments


lolcover

danielcardoso
March 5th 2017


11770 Comments


Emmure and Tokio Hotel in one week huh.

Coldplaz
March 5th 2017


70 Comments


Lmao this band still exists?

dfevil085
March 5th 2017


1301 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

@DatBeef: Boys Don't Cry and the Title track are kinda similar.



@Snide: Haha, sorry man.

DatBeefPudding
March 5th 2017


1909 Comments


'grats on the feature

dfevil085
March 5th 2017


1301 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks Beef!

sempiturtle
March 5th 2017


1518 Comments


Ok so I listened to What If and it's actually a banger. What even.

dfevil085
March 5th 2017


1301 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I know right? You should give this a spin if you can.

Gyromania
March 5th 2017


26102 Comments


George Lucas should sue

tinathefatlard
March 5th 2017


1642 Comments


Is this that band with the dude that many thought was a hot chick?

SoccerRiot
March 5th 2017


5397 Comments


^ yup, spot on

bloc
March 5th 2017


53406 Comments


Haha, that's all that needs to be said



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