Not many people in Britain have even so much as heard of Tokio Hotel, but in Germany, Austria and for some strange reason Mexico, this would be inexcusable. From humble beginnings, these four boys from Magdeburg in Germany have grown into a somewhat cult phenomenon with fans almost as zealous as One Direction’s in their dedication. It was, therefore, to great hype that the band’s long-awaited fifth (or sixth or seventh, depending upon how you look at it) album was released on the third of October. Kings of Suburbia had been promised to the world on, amongst other dates, August 2013, November 2013 and April 2014, so it was no surprise that the pre-ordered versions of the album had sold out in Germany after the first forty-eight hours.
Kings of Suburbia is a long departure from the chirpy, angst-ridden pop that 2005’s Schrei brought us, and in that it will doubtless anger many TH purists both sides of the Atlantic. The real instruments seem to have been replaced here – so much so that it is difficult to imagine your typical rock quartet playing it – as have the sarcastic, self-deprecating lyrics which make the earlier albums such a pleasure to listen to.
In some regards Kings of Suburbia retains the original aspects that so appeal to the purists among the ‘Aliens’ (fan Demonym): all the technical production is still excellent and there are some genuinely original musical motifs here, but none of this can alleviate the creeping sense that this all a little bit too techno, and that Bill Kaulitz (lead vocals) has finally sold out and used AutoTune. Somehow, one can’t help but think that a few hard-core fans will be losing their hats over this one.
And what possessed the band to create this video?