Review Summary: A run-of-the-mill best-of, with a host of album saving features.
In today’s world, is there really any room for a “best-of” album? The relevance for this type of record feels both antiquated and alien when placed in society’s disposable ethic. In fact, even though music comes in vast amounts these days, and in quick succession, it’s as quickly forgotten about in a lot of cases. So why bother with a compilation that was designed at birth to be a corporate cash-grab for its labels when you can easily listen to something else or go straight for the artist’s “proper” albums? The truth is there isn’t a great deal of incentive to a lot of them. However, in the last 10 or so years, there has been a key perk to picking up a copy of some bands/artists best-of albums, and it tends to be an added bonus disc. While the actual disc you’re buying is about as useful as a coaster for your favourite drink, the additional disc can occasionally hold a surprising amount of depth and replay value. One such example is Rammstein’s 2011 best-of compilation Made In Germany
If you’re a fan of heavy music, the chances of you not knowing who Rammstein are at this point are pretty slim; even if you haven’t actually heard their music, you’ll know the name. Yes, if there was ever a band to celebrate their illustrious career, it’s these guys: 6 albums that hold up to an intimidatingly high standard; spread across two decades, with a near countless amount of stadium shattering singles. Since their hiatus, the band have spent a fair amount of time releasing live albums and this very LP, just for the sake of taking a step back to celebrate and admire it all. The main disc contains the hit numbers from their career, and gives little space for anything other than the best the band can offer. The most obvious thing you’ll notice is Mutter
dominates the biggest piece of the track list – for fairly obvious reasons. However, they try and squeeze as much onto the list as possible: the likes of Rosenrot
take the biggest hits for the team, only getting a track apiece from those albums, while the rest of the songs on here come from their more popular records. As much as I could grumble at the fact Mutter
might get a little bit too much exposure on here, it’s understandable that they’d put a heavy emphasis on, arguably, their most successful album to date; and the track list as a whole represents why these guys are one of the top runners in the game today. There’s also the inclusion of a previously unreleased track, in the form of “Mein Land”, a quick and energetic track which holds all the great hallmarks of the band, and is an excellent addition to the band’s canon.
However, the whole reason any fan of the band should be checking this package out is because of the second disc, which features a trove of remixes from various artists that Rammstein hand-picked to do the job. There’s an eclectic range of artists on here: from Faith No More and Pet Shop Boys to Scooter and Junkie XL, you’ll be taken back by the variety. And for the most part, this half of Made in Germany
is well worth the parting cash. Jacob Hellner’s remix of “Du Hast” is an excellently dank rendition of the song, and manages to bring out a different level of industrial coldness to it; while Clawfinger’s Djent-y guitar tones and spastic drum beats stand out, blending a heavier aesthetic with an equal amount of epic-melody in mind, making it one of the finest remixes on here. Hell, even Scooter’s “Pussy” version brings a bigger tongue-in-cheek tone to the track than its original, and is something you can’t help but smile at. Occasionally you’ll stumble across a track that doesn’t do a great deal though: WestBam’s “Links 2-3-4” is a dull slog and suffers from a pretty poor production choice; the same can be said for Sono’s “Mutter” remix, which spends more time trying to saturate the listener in dull ambient electronics, than utilizing the potential of the song. Luckily, these moments are few and far between, with a great selection of takes on some of Rammstein’s finest tunes.
The bottom line is that the standard version of this album is effectively useless, and is only worth checking if you’re one of the few people not to have heard the band by now – to which I’d still highly recommend listening to the proper albums than this. No, if you’re going to check this out, get the 2-disc, or stream the 2-disc version, for the remix side of the album (and the new song from the first disc). It’s here where you’ll find your money’s worth and the most enjoyment. While a couple of the tracks fall a little flat, or don’t offer a decent enough take on the track at hand, the majority of the remixes here are great and are enjoyable pieces to go back to.
EDITIONS: 2-disc CD//1̶-̶d̶i̶s̶c̶ ̶C̶D̶//2̶ ̶C̶D̶+̶3̶-̶D̶V̶D̶ ̶D̶e̶l̶u̶x̶e̶
PACKAGING: 2-disc comes in an 8 panel digi-pak, with a variant of one of the six members to cover the album’s front cover.
SPECIAL EDITION: The ultimate edition of this package contains the standard disc, remix disc and three DVDs, which have making-of and music videos.