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Review: Helloween - Pink Bubbles Go Ape
Pink Bubbles Go Ape

Label: EMI
Year released: 1991
Duration: 44:07
Tracks: 11
Genre: Power Metal

Rating: 3/5

Review online: August 13, 2010
Reviewed by: Bruce Dragonchaser
Readers Rating
Pink Bubbles Go Ape

Rated 3.13/5 (62.55%) (55 Votes)

Almost as famous as the fact they created Power Metal is the fact that Helloween made two utterly crap records. When Kai Hansen left the band during their most successful period, the Germans took their time following the immense Keepers albums with Pink Bubbles Go Ape, and as you can probably tell by the title, we ain't talking fantasy-themed epics and an a whole lot of seriousness; but then the band have never stuck to one sound, always experimenting and creating new facades. This was an extension of the fast, duel-guitar attack of the previous two albums, injecting it with a loose feeling of humour and carefree jocundity that shocked many at the time, yet over the years has become a guilty pleasure for fans.

Their first album with now Masterplan guitarist Roland Grapow, Pink Bubbles is a bluesy, at times hard-rocking affair, with an insistence on pop-like melodies and catchy choruses. There is a vast difference between this and their previous works, though when you look closely, you can see how the shape of this album evolved. Michael Kiske wrote a lot of material here, and there is a very clean feel to this, particularly in the Chris Tsangarides production, though Kiske's vocals are well rendered, pushed to the brink of his power. Generally, this is a soft release (though not as much so as its follow up, the infamous Chameleon), but there is a fair share of faster, heavier numbers, including "Someone's Crying", "Kids Of The Century" and "The Chance", all of which could have been Keepers B-sides. The best track however, is the wonderful "Mankind", with its awesomely epic riff and superb vocals from Kiske, which give me the chills every time I hear them. "Heavy Metal Hamsters" is stupid, of course, but it's a catchy "Dr. Stein"-esque number that will have you singing along after the first refrain.

As a rule, this is a Helloween wildcard. It was supposed to get them more mainstream recognition, but it didn't. It started their descent into the sell-out pit they resided in until Andi Deris brought them back with 1994's kick ass Master Of The Rings. Until then, Helloween were a bit of a joke, and if you've heard Chameleon, you will know why. Still, Pink Bubbles is an underrated release by one of the genre's most interesting bodies, and should be rediscovered by those who aren't afraid of something different.

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