Anyone familiar with the industrial metal band's dark sense of irony should take one look at the title of Rammstein's 2009 album LIEBE IST FÜR ALLE DA ("Love Is There for Everyone") and conclude that this one is a mean monster. Combining the tightness and punch of their 1998 album, Sehnsucht, with the musicianship and elaborate textures of their later work, LIEBE IST is a grand achievement, skillfully dividing its time between razor sharp metal rockers like "B********," or the opening theme song "Rammlied" and nostalgic cabaret pieces that conjure the spirits of Weil and Brecht at a goth club. The best of the latter is the naked and haunting closer "Roter Sand," but little touches of a sinister yesteryear are everywhere, like the fake vaudeville music in "Haifisch," or the soundtrack strings of "Wiener Blut," which are eventually overcome by a guitar-crunching juggernaut. This strange mix of styles is more effective here than it has been for about a decade, and there's no threat of the album becoming ponderous, either, as an economical track list and purposeful songs wipe away the sins of their previous album, 2005's Rosenrot. The group's loyal fans have remained loyal throughout the past decade and have braved all the difficult but ultimately rewarding efforts that came with it. To them, LIEBE IST FÜR ALLE DA is the big payoff and an instant classic. For the rest of the world, this is that once-a-decade, perfectly balanced Rammstein album that's immediately accessible but wide and deep enough to explore for years to come.
AllMusic Review by David Jeffries