Reise, Reise

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Reise, Reise
Studio album by Rammstein
Released September 27, 2004
Recorded 2003–2004
Studio El Cortijo Studios, Málaga, Spain
Genre Neue Deutsche Härte, industrial metal
Length 47:47
Language German, English, Russian
Label Motor Music, Republic Records
Producer Jacob Hellner, Rammstein
Rammstein chronology
Mutter
(2001)
Reise, Reise
(2004)
Rosenrot
(2005)
Singles from Reise, Reise
  1. "Mein Teil"
    Released: July 26, 2004
  2. "Amerika"
    Released: September 6, 2004
  3. "Ohne dich"
    Released: November 22, 2004
  4. "Keine Lust"
    Released: February 28, 2005

Reise, Reise (a German wake-up call, literally "(a)rise, (a)rise", although it can also be interpreted as meaning "journey, journey", or as a command "travel, travel") is Neue Deutsche Härte band Rammstein's fourth studio album. It was released on 27 September 2004 in Germany and followed shortly by its release across Europe. It was released in North America on 16 November 2004. It was in the top ten in several European charts and a number one hit in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Iceland, Finland, Estonia and Mexico. As of February 2006, the album has shipped 1.5 million copies globally.[1]

Recording[edit]

The album was recorded in Spain (El Cortijo Studio, Malaga) and produced by Jacob Hellner and Rammstein. The band recorded several songs during the sessions for "Reise, Reise" which were omitted from the album's final track listing and were later released on their follow-up album Rosenrot.[2] A statement from the band's management regarding the upcoming collection reads as follows:

The record company stated: "When we were introduced to the tracks of "Reise, Reise", many fascinating songs were among them, which were suddenly missing on the album. Among others I remember one song, which we all believed to be the first single of the album. The song was "Rosenrot", and when we had to realize that the band changed their minds and it did not even make it on to the album, we were speechless. The album was perfect nevertheless, but their enormous self-confidence surprised us."[3]

Concept and music[edit]

Themes[edit]

The album is based on the crash of Japan Airlines Flight 123 on the evening of August 12, 1985. Twelve minutes into its flight, the Boeing 747 suffered an explosive decompression due to failure of its rear pressure bulkhead, caused by a faulty repair years earlier. The explosion tore off most of the aircraft's vertical stabilizer and ruptured all four of the hydraulic systems, causing the loss of all flight control surfaces and rendering the aircraft uncontrollable. The pilots fought to keep the aircraft aloft for nearly 32 minutes, but eventually became trapped in the towering mountain ranges surrounding Mt. Fuji and crashed, killing 520 out of the 524 passengers and crew on board. As of 2013 it remains the deadliest single aircraft disaster in history. Some pressings of the album contain a recording of the last 30 seconds of the flight as an easter egg hidden in the pregap. The length of the album is often related to the Japan Airlines Flight 123's Boeing 747 that suffered an accident.[citation needed]

Songs and lyrics[edit]

Till Lindemann (pictured) stated several times that "Mein Teil" was inspired by the Armin Meiwes's situation.

"Amerika" is probably the groups' most overt political statement to date, revolving around the recurring English-language chorus "We're all living in America, America is wonderful, Were all living in America, America, America". It is perhaps not the most nuanced attack of American cultural hegemony, but it is spirited and catchy nonetheless, a fine addition to the groups' tradition of crafting ineffably catchy anthemic sing-alongs."

— "Amerika" review by PopMatters

The album "revels in the type of paradoxical, multi-faceted existentialism which comes second nature to Germans but is persistently untranslatable to Americans" and it opens with the track "Reise Reise" which means "journey, journey", and "we are immediately put on notice that this particular journey will be a grim and harrowing one, leavened by German existentialism in the grand tradition of Mann and Goethe."[4] The references to Goethe come in "Dalai Lama", a modern version of Goethe's poem "Der Erlkönig", set in an aeroplane rather than on a horse; the title is a reference to the 14th Dalai Lama's fear of flying.[citation needed] The song "Amerika" deals with the worldwide influence of the culture of the United States of America. The song's two verses are sung in German with a chorus in English: "We're all living in Amerika, Amerika ist wunderbar, We're all living in Amerika, Amerika, Amerika." The band views it as a satirical commentary on "Americanization", and it features mentions of Coca-Cola, Mickey Mouse, and Santa Claus.

The song "Mein Teil" is about Armin Meiwes, a man who achieved international notoriety for killing and eating a voluntary victim whom he had found via the Internet. After Meiwes and the victim jointly attempted to eat the victim's severed penis, Meiwes killed his victim and proceeded to eat a large amount of his flesh. Because of his acts, Meiwes is also known as the Rotenburg Cannibal or Der Metzgermeister (The Master Butcher).[5] According to Rammstein's bassist Oliver Riedel, the song came about after "one of our members brought a newspaper to rehearsal and it had a story about the cannibal guy in it. We were fascinated, shocked and amused at the same time." Vocalist Till Lindemann stated, "It's so sick that it becomes fascinating and there just has to be a song about it".[6] "Mein Teil" attracted controversy in Germany; the media dubbed it the "Kannibalensong" (cannibal song), which helped to boost it to second place in the German music charts after its release in early August 2004. Remixes of the song were done by Arthur Baker and the Pet Shop Boys. At the beginning of the song in the video, the phrase "Suche gut gebauten Achtzehn- bis Dreißigjährigen zum Schlachten – Der Metzgermeister" ("Looking for a well built 18 to 30 year old to be slaughtered - The Master Butcher") is spoken, voiced by Ollie, although the album version of the song does not have this beginning. The quote is taken from an online post by Armin Meiwes.

"Ohne dich" (Without You) is a power ballad. It is seen as expressing mourning over the loss of a loved person. It follows a slow, even romantic ballad style. The central motif is "Without you, I cannot be..., With you, I am alone also..."

"Los" is a German suffix meaning “-less” (as in “meaningless”), but it is also an adjective meaning “off” or “loose”, and when used as a command it means "go!". The track itself is reminiscent of Depeche Mode's early work, with repetitive acoustic guitar and a stripped-down, insistent beat.[4] The album ends with the track "Amour", one of the most intimate love songs written by the band. In the context of a disc filled with the imagery of "great black gaps in the fabric of human rationality", Rammstein somehow manage to make "honest and sincere romance seem just slightly alien, and tinted with enough melancholy to satisfy the heartiest emo-kid." There's also a guitar solo towards the end, another uncharacteristic gesture in the album.[4]

Release and artwork[edit]

On the U.S. release, the "easter egg" fragment is placed at the beginning of "Reise, Reise" in normal playback. The 2005 pressing does not contain the easter egg, but the original 2004 pressing does. On the European version the easter egg is in negative time, to access it, you must rewind the CD past the beginning of "Reise, Reise". The American iTunes version of "Reise, Reise" also contains the easter egg. On 21 April 2005, Rammstein released a special Japanese version of Reise, Reise, with different cover art, which was later used as the Rosenrot cover art, though slightly altered. The booklet also features the same art as Rosenrot, but with the songs from Reise, Reise. The easter egg is not present in negative time as it is on the European version. It features two bonus tracks: "Mein Teil (You Are What You Eat Edit)" and "Amerika (Digital Hardcore Mix)". The Japanese Limited Edition has a bonus DVD featuring footage from Lichtspielhaus. The Japanese Limited Edition was re-issued in 2009 as SHM-CD and DVD edition, featuring the original orange cover art.

The album artwork shows a damaged aeroplane cockpit voice recorder depicted on the front and back covers. Its caption ("Flugrekorder, nicht öffnen") means "Flight Recorder, Do Not Open". The inner part of the Digipak edition case shows a picture of the six members in suits wielding suitcases and weapons (like Michael Douglas in Falling Down) leaving from a crashed aeroplane. The cover art is an allusion to the song "Dalai Lama", which deals with an aeroplane accident. It is also suggestive of the overarching "travelling" theme of the album. While past albums have all featured the six band members in various photographic scenarios, "Reise Reise" features a minimal packaging, and there are no photographs featuring the band's members.[4]

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[7]
BBC 3/5 stars[5]
PopMatters 8/10 stars[4]
Sputnikmusic 4/5 stars[8]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[9]

Upon the its release, the album received mixed response from contemporary music critics. David Jeffries from Allmusic gave the album a rating of three out of five stars, and stated that the album's content "is more of the same: the same grit, the same growl, and the same dramatic, orchestra choruses" and that "the lead single, "Mein Teil" is no "Du Hast" but the damning "Amerika" almost equals their breakthrough track." He also said that there was a bit more ingenuity in the production and a little more focus in the songs but it wasn't "enough for the nonfaithful to pick up on." Jeffries highlighted the track "Stein Um Stein" because it "creeps more than stomps in parts". He also mentioned that the track "Los" features a bluesy guitar that "adds some quirk to the band's stern Teutonic pallette." He finished his review saying "few bands can industrially grind as convincingly as Rammstein. Same as it ever was, "Reise, Reise" won't do much to increase the band's fan base, but being a tight, free-of-filler album, it'll satisfy the faithful."[7] Vaz Malik from BBC also gave the album a mixed review and said that the band could probably be "a lot bigger" in the United States if they opted to sing in English, but "German sounds a lot more threatening and it's done them no harm in their homeland." He stated that the songs "Morgenstern" and "Stein Um Stein" probably have weak translations but in German they sound mean. He said "that tracks like 'Amerika' make the admission price worth while. Rammstein say it’s their most commercial song to date. Well more like this please because it’s funny but rocks at the same time."[5] Tim O'Neil from PopMatters gave the album a favorable review and said: "for those with the patience to look beyond the "Teutonic bluster" and punk insouciance, "Reise Reise" will be a uniquely rewarding experience."[4] Jorn van Schaïk from Sputnikmusic gave the album a very favorable review, praising Till Lindemann's vocals, the tracks Mein Teil, Amerika and Ohne dich. He went on to say "Mutter is a better place to start for Rammstein, as it combines both their later melodic and their earlier techno influences to the max, but this record is an excellent one nonetheless."

Commercial performance[edit]

The album sold 26,716 copies in the United States in its first week of release in November 2004 to debut at position no. 61 on The Billboard 200 chart.[3] It was in the top ten in several European charts and reached number one in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Iceland, Finland, Estonia and Mexico. As of February 2006, the album has shipped 1.5 million copies globally.[1]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Rammstein. 

No. Title Length
1. "Reise, Reise" (Journey, Journey) 4:11
2. "Mein Teil" (My Part) 4:32
3. "Dalai Lama"   5:38
4. "Keine Lust" (Don't Feel Like It (literally means No Desire)) 3:42
5. "Los" (Away/-less) 4:25
6. "Amerika" (America) 3:46
7. "Moskau" (Moscow, feat. Viktoria Fersh) 4:16
8. "Morgenstern" (Morning Star) 3:59
9. "Stein um Stein" (Stone By Stone / Brick By Brick) 3:56
10. "Ohne dich" (Without You) 4:32
11. "Amour" (Fr. Love) 4:50
Total length:
47:47
  • A micro-cassette is available (Side A = 1-5; Side B = 6-11).[citation needed]

Personnel[edit]

Rammstein
Additional musicians

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Sales/shipments
Germany (BVMI)[68] Platinum 200,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[69] Silver 60,000^
Summaries
Europe (IFPI)[70] Platinum 1,000,000*

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
xunspecified figures based on certification alone

Release history[edit]

Country Date
Europe 27 September 2004
United States 6 November 2004

References[edit]

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  5. ^ a b c Malik, Vaz. "Rammstein – "Reise Reise" review". BBC. 5 October 2004. Retrieved 24 December 2011.
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