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LABEL: Sheffield Tunes RELEASE DATE: April 15, 2011 GENRE: Hard Trance, Happy Hardcore, Drum'n'Bass
// review by Jeff

Turbo mode doesn't make songs better.

I've written about Scooter releases seemingly countless times, defending the German hard dance trio against the countless criticisms that they face from other music reviewers. They're often considered a joke, mainly borrowing freely from other artists and adapting the creations of others into their own style. I argue that they take more obscure works and push them into the spotlight, demonstrating their musical value to a widespread audience across the globe. But with the release of their newest single, "Friends Turbo", I don't think I have any more energy left to help bolster their position. Frankly, this is not the single anyone would have expected... or deserved.

Opinions are already highly mixed about "Friends Turbo". We're not sure whether or not this is an official track for their as-of-yet untitled next album due for release in August, but it IS the theme song for a German movie called "New Kids Turbo". I don't know much about these "New Kids", but it is apparently a popular sketch from a Dutch television show. In the movie itself, five men with obvious mental... er... dysfunctionalities... are fired from their jobs due to economic downfalls. It is then that they decide that they will not pay for anything ever again. I don't know how you can get a full movie out of that, but apparently somebody did. And for whatever reason, Scooter was asked to contribute an updated version of their classic 1995 single, "Friends", to the movie. Though Scooter normally wouldn't revisit old tracks, they made an exception.

But honestly, there was really no reason to revisit that old song. It was a good happy hardcore track back then, and it hit #3 on the German music charts, so people must have enjoyed it. The 2011 remake, however, adds little to make the song any better. It sounds mostly like the old one, in both structure and sound, making the beat a little harder, the bass a little rougher, and the synths a little more up-to-date, but really, nothing much has changed. Heck, as a single today, it isn't interesting enough to hold up against the other songs on the charts today! The Movie Version is first up, and includes the occasional vocal sample from main actors in New Kids Turbo. It's pretty much the same as the main mix, except for those voice clips. So you're basically getting the same song twice in a row, except for some stupid hillbilly shouts in Dutch. But both feature Scooter frontman H.P. Baxxter with some new lyrics that have nothing to do with anything, though I didn't expect anything else. "Chicks in motion / Across the ocean / We start the party / Now come, everybody, yeah!" Sure, H.P., sure. For the deluxe version of the single, there's also the Drum 'n' Bass Mix, which is the same song a third time, but with more goofy special effects, some more piano work, and a funkier drum beat. It would've been cool if THIS were the main version because it's slightly more worthy of such, but sadly, we get the bland one instead.

I predict that "Friends Turbo" won't be charting very high (and as I can already tell, Friends Turbo only hit #51 on the charts in its home country). The original was great, but this remake was unwarranted. I hope for MUCH better on their next album, or else it will be a complete flop. The final score is that high only because the Drum 'n' Bass Mix is moderately enjoyable.


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