Lindemann
F and M


3.3
great

Review

by Simon STAFF
November 23rd, 2019 | 20 replies


Release Date: 11/22/2019 | Tracklist

Review Summary: 'F & M' is a sterner attempt at delivering something new, but in that change, something gets lost in translation.

One of Skills in Pills’ biggest dividing points came from Till’s decision to approach his vocals and lyrics in English – defying the natural choice of going with his native, German tongue to angle a more interesting experience that went against the grain of his usual style. And sure, I can understand why people would see the jarring presentation of Till’s sometimes stilted performances on Skills in Pills as a detriment to the songs, or the lyrics being so outrageously campy they look as though they’re taking aim at the lowest common denominator, but to that, I would say you’re missing the very point of Lindemann. It’s no secret that Till Lindemann relishes in all the perversions sex has to offer (or so he would want it to appear in the public eye), to the point where I wouldn’t put it past him trying to get a hold of and solve the Lament Configuration puzzle box – to attain the unfathomable reaches of pleasure and pain this world can’t offer. But equally, he has as much of a sense of humour that mirrors his desire for the darker sides of sex, and to that end Skills in Pills offers a harmonious balance of both: excess taken to the max. It’s satire I found greatly enjoyable – and still do – but more than that, I thought the English sung vocals were a masterstroke that elevated the comedic disposition of Skills in Pills and brought something a little different to the table.

So when the announcement of F & M came about, I was met with both surprise – considering this is the same year Rammstein broke their ten-year silence with the excellent Rammstein – and a minor washing of disappointment that Till opted to shift back into his modus operandi. Indeed, F & M sounds like Lindemann on a compositional and sonic level, but vocally the record is sung entirely in German. Whether I’ve been living under a rock and it turns out the collective masses always detested the English-sung debut, forcing him to better think his approach for the sophomore LP, or he caved in on his own insecurities – as it was the second half of Lindemann, Peter Tägtgren, who suggested he sing Skills in Pills in English, with Till begrudgingly agreeing – remains to be seen. Regardless, one of the more unique aspects of Lindemann has been scrapped for a different perspective this time around, and the results are plain to see. F & M is a solid and enjoyable metal album, and that’s about where it ends. There’s nothing distinct, colourful or particularly interesting to unearth here, it’s just good, competent metal music. After a couple of spins with the album, I thought there may have been more to the record the more you sat down with it. Unfortunately, the more time I gave this record, the more glaring the problems became.

The biggest issue and most persistent flaw I found throughout almost all of F & M’s songs was that they had an excellent set up, but were then immediately marred with a dull symphonic, watered-down chorus that didn’t suit the overall tone the verses were initially offering. That’s not to say there’s anything obnoxious here, but when you hear the sinister opening of “Ich weiß es nicht”, which sounds like Mutter-era Rammstein with Till’s guttural rasps and the disturbing industrial sample backdrop, it’s a little disappointing that the resolve is always looking towards a sugary chorus with a symphonic backing. There’s a lot of really great ideas at the heart F & M’s songs, but there was a constant niggle that felt as though something was always missing in these pieces. A little dive into the lyrics also revealed a much more grounded approach in the writing, adding to the banality overall. Of course, there are a couple of noteworthy moments here that stop it from being completely forgettable. The folky “Knebel” is a superb piece of writing and offers an infectious melody and some bouncy acoustic guitar playing for its first half, before obliterating the silence for the second half with heavy riffs and Till’s excellently performed screams. The smooth “Ach so gern”, with its foot-tapping double bass groove and mandolin tremolo in the background, had me picturing Till and Peter, suited and booted, playing in a smoky dive in Spain; it’s a curve ball that is completely out of context with the rest of the record, but it brought life into the eccentric personality this band once had. While “Platz Eins” dips its toe into the retro electronica of the 90s, sitting on a bedrock of techno-infused synths and Lindemann’s usual grinding riffs.

F & M is an enjoyable album, and it will appeal to a much broader audience than that of its predecessor, but I feel the duo have thrown the baby out with the bath water here. The album plays things very straight this time around: gone are the debauched, self-contained and thematic chapters to an overall story, in favour of a much more grounded record that rarely shows its original selling points. There’s nothing particularly wrong with this of course, but if you’re going to strip one of your most distinct traits away, you’d better make sure everything else is up to an enhanced standard. And that’s the crux here – musically there’s nothing really standout to make it more memorable than its predecessor, it’s just a good wholesome metal album with a couple of eccentric moments to help it chug along.

FORMAT//EDITIONS: DIGIBOOK/̶/̶C̶D̶/̶/̶V̶I̶N̶Y̶L̶/̶/D̶I̶G̶I̶T̶A̶L̶

PACKAGING: A5 digibook with various stills and (German) lyrics. A nice package, but it isn’t particularly interesting or out of the norm. 3.5/5

SPECIAL EDITION BONUSES: This edition comes with two bonus tracks: a metal rendition of the seedy “Ach so gern”, and a new version of the contentious “Mathematik”. The former is an inferior version that lacks the charm of its original, while the latter – ominous, trap inspired – “Mathematik” is an improved version that removes the horrendous rap breakdown sections. 3/5

ALBUM STREAM//PURCHASE: https://shop.rammstein.de/en/showroom/lindemann-single-steh-auf-album-f-m



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user ratings (40)
3.3
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
chug73
November 23rd 2019


4650 Comments


Good review.

I liked Skills in Pills quite a bit - the English lyrics helped, despite some odd non-native phrasings and an audible accent.
With this I will have to read English translations since my German is pretty bad; but by that point, a lot of the nuance will be lost in translation.



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Flugmorph
November 23rd 2019


22147 Comments


epic

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Tomstein
November 23rd 2019


118 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Loved it surprised to see a lot are loving it too. Some seem to like this more then the new Rammstein album. I guess this album is doing something right.

TheNotrap
November 23rd 2019


12535 Comments


The first single was ok, but not enough to make me want to hear the album

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Aerisavion
November 24th 2019


2050 Comments


Should probably check this

chug73
November 24th 2019


4650 Comments


I liked the songs but the review is dead-on, too many times the choruses will be a letdown and full of cheesy synths and orchestral stuff.

RustCohle
November 24th 2019


338 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Knebel and Schlaf Ein are absolute gems, especially lyric wise.

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kzy
November 25th 2019


39 Comments


AI AI AI....
Knebel had so much delivering lyrics and i digging it!
especially on "Und ich mag dich mit einem Knebel in dem Mund". it's like your girlfriend had C**ksucking too much!

chug73
November 25th 2019


4650 Comments


Is this your translation?

I'm waiting for Genius or other sites to translate it. Sad.

Zig
November 25th 2019


1894 Comments


The singles sound to much like Rammstein meets disco. Probably, won't enjoy this.



Also, I've seen a diferent album cover of this.

Tomstein
November 25th 2019


118 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Are you talking about the cover with just two letters LM.I think the site just used that tell they came out with the real cover.

BigBlob
November 26th 2019


5442 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

actually enjoying this more than the new Ramm album

Egarran
November 26th 2019


14444 Comments


What does F+M refer to?

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Pikazilla
November 26th 2019


6971 Comments


Radio

BigBlob
November 26th 2019


5442 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

raaaaddiiooooo



mein radio

Egarran
November 26th 2019


14444 Comments


A review I just read, because I don't trust you nerds, said it referred to the song Frau & Mann.

But that's also lame.

BigBlob
November 26th 2019


5442 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

h8r

BigPleb
November 26th 2019


59955 Comments


New Rammstein album over this any day, just not my thing.

tinathefatlard
November 26th 2019


1706 Comments


Are we talking Daniel Stern or Howard Stern?

chug73
November 26th 2019


4650 Comments


Howard Sternstein



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