Track Listing
Human Zoo (3)
What I Like (1)
Have A Little Faith
Top Of The World (2)
James' Not Alone
Still I Belong To You
One In A Million
No Tomorrow
First Time In A Long Time
Where I Belong
Long Way Down
What Can I Do

(*) Best Tracks

Dial Hard
Human Zoo

Buy it if you liked:
Gotthard - Homerun
Bon Jovi - Bounce
Human Zoo
BMG Switzerland
Produced By: Not Listed
Running Time: Genre: Melodic Rock
Release Date: Out Now Released: EU
WebLink: Gotthard LabelLink: BMG

The key to any good album is good songwriting. regardless of style or delivery, if the album contains good songs, then it should succeed. Over the years Gotthard have transformed themselves from a straight up hard rock act, into a more refined melodic rock act, with an ever maturing sound and continued success in their native Switzerland.
This album is interesting for a couple of reasons. It's the first without long time collaborator Chris Von Rohr, and it comes after a mellower previous studio album and a ballads compilation.
It would seem the band are more comfortable in this more mature setting they find themselves in.
So what does Human Zoo offer? Above everything else, good songwriting. Great songs in fact. And while the debate will continue between fans over what era they prefer and why aren't this hard rock band heavier, (ask Bon Jovi the same thing), the fact remains that the guys know a good melody and combined with excellent production and a strong lead vocalist, this album delivers the melodic rock goods.
As long as you don't mind your melodic rock on the softer side. The rockers are guitar driven, but they aren't what you call heavy, and yes, there is a fair proportion of slower numbers. But they are all good songs.
Human Zoo opens the album in expected rocking mode - a pretty smooth Bon Jovi-ish mid to up-tempo track that should please most fans.
What I Like is a slow to mid-tempo track and the first single. It kicks off acoustically, but does build in intensity. The lead vocals of Steve Lee are sensational. A cool, raspy, moody melodic vocal that comes tolife once the chorus hits - a strong, memorable chorus.
It doesn't take long for the first power ballad to arrive. Have A Little Faith is a strong ballad, with a nice sentimental feel and some more strong vocals.
Time for another rocker with Top Of The World. A strong lead guitar riff and a great uptempo chorus help make this song one of the album's best and is well placed to keep the album flowing well.
James' Not Alone is a mid-tempo acoustic driven tune that sees a new dimension added to the band's songwriting. It's pure American heartland, despite the band being Swiss! Reminds me also of some Tony Carey solo material. Another strong song, but one that may not appeal to all fans.
Still I Belong To You is another power ballad, this time a little more rock than the first ballad and a song with a moody edge.
One In A Million is another guitar driven track. It's uptempo without being a rocker and features a anthemic chorus, while never really going over the top. It's pretty restrained, but another good melodic track.
No Tomorrow is a slow, moody rock track. No major hooks, but a song that fits the flow of the album well and changes the mood a little.
First Time In A Long Time is another big ballad. If you liked the 2 previous, you'll like this also. Nothing out of formula for the guys.
Where I Belong is a mid tempo, feel good pop rocker that lifts the tempo a little and again fits in well.
Long Way Down is a good electric guitar based rocker. A darker and slightly more aggressive sound than the rest of the album, the song features some good melodic moments, but could have done with a bigger chorus.
Closing the album is power ballad number four, the slow starting What Can I Do, which builds through the song into a nice little power ballad.

The Bottom Line
Maybe even smoother than the last album - more so because of an excellent production and generally more mature sound. Above all style and heaviness issues, the main aspect of the album's strength's are it's songs. While they are fairly restrained as far as rockers go, the quality shines through and should see most fans of the band pleased.
This album also has a chance to pick up new fans, as I believe their sound is less European then ever and will appeal to a broad spectrum of melodic rock fans.

Line Up
Steve Lee: Vocals
Leo Leoni: Guitar
Mandy Meyer: Guitar
Hena Habegger: Drums
Marc Lynn: Bass

Additional Ratings

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