I remember being very excited when this album came out due to the powerful first single “Wild Child”. I had enjoyed previous Scorpions albums well enough — Face The Heat, Live Bites — due to some great singles. Face the Heat in particular showed that the Scorpions were still interested in playing heavy music, via the first single “Alien Nation”. I could have handled some more of that. Pure Instinct, however, is ballad-ridden dreck with no energy and no inspiration.
We all know that since the 80’s, the Scorpions have had tremendous success with ballads. “Still Loving You” has become a signature song, and one of their biggest hits ever was 1990’s “Wind of Change”. The problem is that Scorpions are a rock band, and Pure Instinct is over half-full with ballads!
I mentioned “Wild Child” as a standout track, and it is. But even as a hard rock track, it is very commercial. It’s a lot more pop than “Rock You Like a Hurricane” or “Big City Nights”, though it does boast some enormous hooks. It is the opening song, and unfortunately it’s all a downhill snooze from there, more or less.
Longtime Scorpion Herman Rarebell departed after Live Bites, so the band employed a session drummer (Curt Cress), while sounding like they are on autopilot. Ballad after ballad after ballad…this gives you, the ballad-loving listener, almost half an hour of ballads. The single “You And I” alone is over 6 minutes long! Most of the rest of the tracks are flat, dull, and uninspired.
The few highlights include the first track “Wild Child”, the uptempo “Stone In My Shoe”, and the ballady-but-still-decent “Where The River Flows”. And that is about it.
The Japanese bonus track, which I have on the single for “You and I”, was called “She’s Knocking At My Door”, which although it was a rocker was also pretty bland.
It would only get worse — the next Scorpions album Eye II Eye has been likened to Savage Garden! I never bought it and haven’t listened to it since it came out.
2/5 stars. Avoid unless you want to buy it for the three good songs.