Rammstein guitarist's solo effort doesn't stray too far from home
Side projects, solo projects or albums are always interesting when key members splinter off here and there during their careers to try their hand at something new. They can be hit and miss or often somewhere in between as they manage to either define themselves clearly, or come up sounding like a insert-band-name-here 'lite' version. Rammstein founder and guitarist Richard Kruspe has ventured out of not only the comfort zone of the militant German act, but also his country, heading to the U.S.A. to record his solo project, Emigrate, which also features guitarist Olsen Involtini, bassist Arnaud Giroux and drummer Henka Johansson (Clawfinger).
With the exception of the vocals which are in English and not as deep as that of Rammstein vocalist Till Lindemann, one could very easily mistake the band's lead single and title track Emigrate as a Rammstein number. Everything about it reeks of Rammstein which is to be expected really, but by the same token, it's still a solid enough track in its own right. The quicker Wake Up and the pummelling My World can also be tarred with that brush, as the vocals are the on segregator. Let Me Break has a huge Filter feel to it, from the dynamics to the huge riff that kicks in at the 1 minute 39 second mark. Interestingly enough, the same kind of feel flows through the light and dark moods of In My Tears and even Babe as well to an extent.
The first real show of originality appears with New York City which is very much your typical rock 'n' roll number at the core, whereas Resolution blurs that line with Kruspe's German bandmates. The album's weakest track is the generic and generally forgettable Temptation as it falls short in just about every way possible before the excellent This Is What offers a glimmer of hope as it blends Filter like drum rhythms and Rammstein-esque riffs. Although the soothing tones of You Can't Get Enough are a nice enough way to bring the album to a close, on the whole, it's not one of the album's brightest points.
Rammstein fans will take to this like a duck to water, and justifiably so as you can take the boy out of Rammstein, but you can't take Rammstein out of the boy. There are some interesting insights into what Kruspe likes to explore outside of his regular gig, but it's lacking a little in the originality department at times.