The three Hamburg-ers are back after a brief one-year exit from the charts with a slightly different sound. After their surprising date with jumpstyle music back in 2007, I was really hoping that they would get off -- or fall off, rather -- that bandwagon before embarking on a new studio album. I was really hoping jumpstyle was just a fad and a little bump in the Scooter saga. Well, the fruits of their labour are starting to bloom. In addition to the announcement of a new album, "Under The Radar Over The Top", in October 2009, their next single, "J'adore Hardcore", is out and demonstrates that they're not quite ready to go back to the classic Scooter sound just yet.
In their favour, "J'adore Hardcore" isn't jumpstyle. But contrary to its name, it's not hardcore either. If anything, it's a hardstyle track -- somewhere in the middle of the two genres, I suppose. The Radio Edit gives us everything that we need to know about the track. Frontman H.P. Baxxter's signature nonsensical shouts are still there, and one thing I noticed immediately is that this is the first time he's dropped the F-bomb in a while. Must be trying to gain some more street cred. Is his silver skull ring not enough? The song borrows melodies generously from a few sources, including "Chase The Sun" by Planet Funk (which I noticed immediately) and "I Just Can't Stop" by The Pitcher. Normally, I'd be ticked off about this theft, but for a few reasons, I won't be. Number one, they've been doing it for so long, it's not even worth my fretting. Secondly, they tend to take songs I've never have heard of and add their own spins on it to make it more listenable (plus the increased exposure for the original artists). They're a novelty band and that's how they need to be seen. Lastly, they do add their own separate elements amongst the samples (unlike The Real Booty Babes, who made their songs sound pretty much 1:1 with the originals with no sense of creativity). Separately, these songs stand up well enough on their own, but amalgamated here, it's actually a pretty powerful concoction. The point of the song (or any Scooter song, really) is to get you waving your arms in the air, and this one'll definitely do it. I could probably dig an album full of hardstyle, if it's even half-decent like this. It's also neat to note that the female vocal sample of the words "J'adore hardcore" actually come directly from Maddy Julien, a French fan who frequents the forums and probably received the opportunity of her life to be on a Scooter sample.
The Melbourne Club Mix takes the concept in a slightly different direction, omitting the H.P. vocals but adding a slightly unusual speech from a deep-voiced man about nothing in particular while more symphonic elements complement it. Though not very long, it's not quite what I'd expect in a club setting. Of course, eventually the hardstyle elements return to the forefront and we get exactly what we expected. Then the Extended Mix gives us superfluous beats before and after the Radio Edit -- this is only desired by DJs and beat dorks. And then there's the Megastylez Edit, a shortened version of the remix by German jumpstyle producer Megastylez. This edit isn't short enough. It should be zero seconds long. He basically took the original and managed to distort it into one of the cheesiest German dance numbers I've heard in a long time. Some many call Scooter cheesy, but this remix is in a category all on its own. Megastylez added a melody entirely his own and it doesn't fit in with the original at all. Scooter should have rejected this one.
Lastly is a fresh B-side called Dushbag (perhaps a misspelling of "douchebag"?). Surprisingly, this is a far cry from everything else on the single. It's an ambient tune with all sorts of calming elements that actually reminds me of some Scooter tracks from way back in the late 1990s, such as "Sputnik" or "Monolake", or even "This Is A Monstertune" from way back in 1996. This is the type of quality production that I hope to hear more of when the new album drops in October.
Overall, it's a decent single. Is it their best? No, but it'll do until something else interesting comes along. Admittedly, when I first heard the teaser sample that Kontor Records posted on YouTube, I greatly disliked it and thought it would end up being a horrible tune. But it has since grown on me, and now it's an enjoyable and powerful tune -- plus the music video is finally showcasing something other than jumpstylers (although now it's Melbourne Shufflers, which isn't much better). It won't even be my favourite Scooter song, but it's one of the best in a while, and that's all I can hope for.