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LABEL: Sheffield Tunes RELEASE DATE: October 14, 2005 GENRE: Hard Trance
// review by Jeff

Hello? Are you there, God? It's me, Scooter.

In 2003, Scooter achieved massive success with their hit single, "Maria (I Like It Loud)", which featured an amazingly crowd-catching chant (their legendary "düp-düp-düp" sound) that has since been shouted at every single Scooter concert to date since then. In 2004, Scooter repeated this feat with a similarly structured song, "One (Always Hardcore)", whose crowd calls are also well-known. In 2005, they decided to give the formula another go with "Hello! (Good To Be Back)". This single proved that they could not only milk that formula for all it was worth, but also that they really loved using parentheses.

The single starts off with the Radio Edit, which tells us everything we really need to know. Based on the chorus of Gary Glitter's 1973 glam-rock track, "Hello, Hello, I'm Back Again", frontman H.P. shouts that chorus as the song's own signature shout. Otherwise, he's flicking off unusual rhymes as usual, this time over an energetic, bouncy bassline and some hard beats. I think there's also some fake guitar work in there, but it's a bit too filtered to sound genuine. After the chorus, we get a new melody in a similar fashion to previous singles, albeit very briefly. Actually, the structure of this song heavily mirrors that of their past successes; I guess they were hoping to score another Top 10 hit using that formula. Too bad they didn't get that far, peaking at #14 in their homeland of Germany. While it's not a bad song by any means, it doesn't have the same punch when they've already done this type of tune several times before.

The Club Mix cuts out most of H.P.'s lyrics aside from the chorus (which they play with a bit) and adds some pretty cool bass work, making for a pretty wild listen. As expected, the Extended Mix is a lengthier version of the Radio Edit, perhaps more suitable for DJ sets or for those folks who thought the abridged version failed to give them enough pumping up. The B-Side this time is a unique one, Path. Hmmm... Path... the title sounds fairly peaceful. It should be pretty relaxi--OH GOODNESS! Turns out the song is some rough hardcore with gritty pounding beats and some strange technical sounds in the background of the chorus (if there is indeed one). We even get really weird vocal samples here and there. This is not Scooter's typical output; it reminds me of "Crank It Up", one of their 1996 hardcore tracks. It's a curiosity that won't pique everyone's interest, that's for sure.

"Hello! (Good To Be Back)" tried to bank on the success of similar songs, but in the end, Scooter comes across as running low on new ideas and innovations in their music. It's a cool party track, but when such songs have already been done, the band really needs something new in their arsenal to keep the spirit alive. It's too bad their follow-up, "Apache Rocks The Bottom", while more unique, was also much worse.


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