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“Radio”: Rammstein’s New Song + Video Continue the Band’s Struggle with German History

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I’m starting to notice a theme to this new, self-titled Rammstein album.

The band has released the second single from the self-titled album, “Radio,” along with an accompanying NSFW music video. And while the clip hopefully won’t cause as much controversy as the video for the first single, “Deutschland,” it does utilize similarly-unsettling imagery that draws from the most shameful chapters of German history. Who the heck knows how people will interpret that imagery, but an English translation of the lyrics suggests that “Radio,” like “Deutschland,” is critical of the country’s history:

We were not allowed to belong
See, talk or hear nothing
But every night for an hour or two
Am I gone from this world
Every night a bit happy
My ear very close to the world receiver

Without giving anything away, the “Radio” video, also like the “Deutschland” video, eventually turns German history on its ear… although, in this case, it’s done in a much more amusing manner. I won’t ruin the surprise… just do yourself a favor and watch the video all the way through. Incidentally, the song is catchy as hell, too.

See? Good stuff. And, like I said, it suggests that Rammstein’s new album has a theme — specifically, freedom vs. tyranny, as filtered through the experience of men who grew up in the shadow of something horrible. It’s easy to see why the band would be drawn to this concept given everything going on in the world today. In this context, even the album’s less-than-thrilling cover art takes on new meaning: Rammstein is ready and waiting to burn shit down. The band, in other words, is handing listeners a powerful tool. What will the fans do with that tool? Can Rammstein cut through all the madness to inspire people at a time when it often feels like all hope is lost?

We’ll find out May 16, when Rammstein drops. In the meantime, you can pre-order it here.

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