Pink Bubbles Go Ape



by Mikesn EMERITUS
September 8th, 2006 | 22 replies

Release Date: 1991 | Tracklist

So your favourite band has just released a couple new albums, albums that are being praised by both fans and critics as some of the best material around. The band has a bright future ahead of them, with plenty of potential. You're really looking forward to what they will release in the future. Then out of the blue, the band's founding member, and figurehead quits the band, and then releases a well received album of his own. Surely the band will be energized to one up his album with a brilliant album of there own.

More or less, that was the position German power metal band Helloween was in, during the years after guitarist Kai Hansen jumped ship. The expectations were set high, and the band was espected to create another power metal masterpiece, Kai or no Kai. Needless to say, the band apparently didn't feel the same way. After hiring guitarist Roland Grapow, they toured for a few more years before beginning to craft their fourth full length album, Pink Bubbles Go Ape (?!). Unlike previous albums, this one did not do very well, and was both a failure commercially, and rejected by many fans.

It isn't hard to see why so many disliked this album. Here, Helloween changes their direction from straight on power metal to a more hard rock influenced band. There are moments where the band holds onto some of the elements that made them so successful, such as the track Mankind, but these moments are overshadowed by some pretty bad songs like I'm Doin' Fine Crazy Man or Number One. One problem is that it seems uninspired, which obviously affects the sound in a negative way. Save for the incredibly memorable Heavy Metal Hamsters, nothing on Pink Bubbles Go Ape really stands out. The riffs are boring. The vocals occasionally go off key. The drumming is dull. When listening to the album it seems very easy to lose concentration, and entire songs can go by without realizing. The closer, Your Turn, is especially guilty of this, due it having no real hook, and fairly unimpressive performance from each member. When I listen to this album, I just get the impression that nobody really spent a lot of time on it, or put very much effort into making is satisfactory.

It's kind of strange how one can go from producing one of metal's greatest albums of all time, to producing Pink Bubbles Go Ape. But Chris Tsangarides seems to manage doing it anyway. I enjoyed the production on Painkiller, but Pink Bubbles sounds pretty weak. Especially on Michael Kiske's voice. Though yes, the production on the Keeper albums was not great either, I feel it was much easier to listen to than this album, where the guitars sometimes feel like they were given second priority to the other instruments. However, one this I like is the audibility of the bass guitar, which is very easy to make out.

At least the band stayed true to one of its characteristics. Pink Bubbles Go Ape features a couple silly songs, most notably, track four, Heavy Metal Hamsters. You know, it's kind of sad when you're getting excited about joke tracks such as these... Anyways though, while Heavy Metal Hamsters has some of the strangest lyrics you'll ever hear, they're well done. With many references to the music industry and bands which are lured into forsaking their identity for money. Another thing I like about the song is the lack of strange noises that found their way into songs like Mrs. God and Dr. Stein. Finally, the music, while not spectacular, becomes fairly interesting during the middle of the song, with some cool harmonies and an excellent solo. Great all around song, especially for a joke track.

Overall, Pink Bubbles Go Ape is both disappointing and strange. Surprisingly, the album's joke track, Heavy Metal Hamsters, was the best song on the album, as it contains one of the catchiest choruses the band has every recorded. It, along with Mankind and to a lesser extent, Someone's Crying, stand as the only tracks on the album worth listening to. The rest of the album is just merely there – uninteresting and forgettable at best. Surely, Helloween had hit rock bottom by now, and there was nowhere to go but up, right? Unfortunately no, the worst was yet to come.

Recommended Tracks:
Heavy Metal Hamsters
Someone's Crying

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user ratings (339)
other reviews of this album
Itsonlyme (3)
Controversial and much debated album by the masters of Power Metal. Is this a bad album? The proof i...

Comments:Add a Comment 
September 9th 2006


Album Rating: 2.0

No comments, hmm?This Message Edited On 09.09.06

February 4th 2007


This album is almost as bad as Chameleon.

Luckily everything after that was excellent

February 4th 2007


Album Rating: 2.0

I'm not really a fan of Helloween's 90s albums, to be honest.

February 7th 2007


I like this and Chameleon, but not as Helloween albums

I changed opinions pretty quick. HeheheThis Message Edited On 02.07.07

November 14th 2007


Album Rating: 3.5

ok, before i even read this, i have to say that i don't think this album is THAT bad, even in comparison to Keepers I & II. i love kids of the century, i love number one, i love heavy metal hamsters. but that riff on someone's crying (or is it the chance?) is just a complete ripoff of i want out from keepers II.

ok i will read it now


ok, after reading it, i have to say you make your point well, although i don't necessarily agree with it. but you need to give more details on each song to explain why they are good/bad. other than that, good work.

November 14th 2007


Album Rating: 3.0

This is a pretty nice review for how bad this album is.

October 2nd 2008


Album Rating: 3.0

I don't consider it double-posting when my last post was almost a year ago, sooo... I picked this up again for 99 cents and gave it another listen. I actually found it enjoyable. It's nothing great but it's not the mess I remember.

January 28th 2010


Album Rating: 3.0

Gotta give it a bump because no one mentioned "The Chance," Kiske's voice/harmonies on that song are awesome. Doesn't carry the album, but is still one of my favorite Helloween tunes.

January 28th 2010


Album Rating: 3.0

Anyone that gave up on this band after the Keeper albums needs to listen to Gambling With The Devil. That album is like classic Helloween mixed with a bit of Painkiller-era Judas Priest. It was a huge surprise.

Staff Reviewer
July 19th 2011


Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

This album and the next one were a huge step back in their career.

However PBGA has really good songs like Kids of the Century, Someone's Crying and The Chance.

June 27th 2012


Album Rating: 4.0

I really don't think this album is as bad as people make it out to be, I think it's just as good as the keeper albums, and no i'm not joking.

Given it's different from their earlier works, but if you like Power Metal, you should have no problem enjoying this.

But one thing i will say, the song "Shit and Lobster" from the Kids of the century single beats all the songs from the album, why it wasn't on the disc i will never know.

Youtube it if you've never heard it, it's quite a masterpiece, and it's quite nice hearing Kiske singing in a lower tone, really shows his octave range.

So i'd say, if you like Power Metal, give it a bash.

July 30th 2012


Album Rating: 2.0

i agree with the review, I actually prefer Chameleon over this, although both are uninspired

September 29th 2012


Album Rating: 1.0

what in the fuck is this shit omg

November 7th 2013


Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

"Your Turn" the albums closer is Helloween's finest Kiske composition.

March 3rd 2016


heavy metal hamsters rules though

March 25th 2016


Album Rating: 2.5


August 28th 2019


Album Rating: 4.0

This is an awfully unterestimated album.

I just can't unterstand how a power metal fan, can rates this album with a 1 or 2.

These are the finest tracks [5/5 for me]

1. Kids of the Century

2. Back on the Streets

3. Heavy Metal Hamsters

4. The chance

These are a click down[4.5/5]

1. Number 1

2. Someone's crying

3. Mankind

Overall, this is a 4 for me and that's because of the ''non-guitar toning'' production.

November 12th 2020


Album Rating: 2.5

Revisiting this album as listening through their whole discography. Its not as bad as I remember and has probably aged better than when it came out. Was such a departure from the brilliance of Keeper albums and moreso the EP's before that that fan base was never going to take to it. Looking at what else came out around that time likes of Testimony of the Ancients and Arise I think my tastes then were moving heavier as well so this was never going to gel. Also loved the Gamma Ray album so was more on team Kai anyway.

December 27th 2022


Album Rating: 2.0

Following Seven Keys Part II with this should've been considered a crime.

February 13th 2023


Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

mankind rulz

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