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MSG
BE AWARE OF SCORPIONS

SPV 085-72552 CD
Produced by: Michael Schenker & Ralph Patlan

Released: OUT / Website
Closest Relative: Himself, UFO
GENRE: Hard Rock
OVERALL: 57%

  1. No Turning Back
  2. My Time's Up
  3. Fallen The Love
  4. Because I Can
  5. How Will You Get Back
  6. Blinded By Technology
  7. Age Of Ice
  8. Standin' On The Road
  9. Sea Of Memory
  10. On Your Way
  11. Reflection Of Your Heart
  12. Roll It Over
  13. Eyes Of A Child

Before any discussion of musical importance - what the hell is with Michael Schenker's new 'wild bushman of Ohio' look?!! Ted Nugent eat your heart out!
Despite being a huge McAuley/Schenker Group fan, and occasional fan of Michael's releases since then, I still find it hard to get excited about impending new albums, due to the fact you never are quite sure who will sing for him and what the direction the album will take.
In recent times, the releases have been merely adequate, without blowing anyone away.
Schenker's albums also require several listens and a little patience in order to get the most out of the songs.
Vocalist on the cheekily titled Be Aware Of Scorpions is Chris Logan, an accomplished vocalist in his own right and sounding relatively at home here.
Chris in places sounds like a softer spoken Joe Lynn Turner.
Rounding out the band is drummer Jeff Martin and Bass player Reverend Jones.
Musically, there is nothing here that stands out as out of character, that hasn't already been heard on the last 2 or 3 albums already. And that's really the problem at hand.
Several listens into this album and I am no more excited about it, than when I began. There's lots of slick guitar play at hand, which is always enjoyable to listen to, especially from Schenker, but the songs as a whole are flat and somewhat uninspired.
There just isn't enough difference between the songs to warrant repeat listens and for that matter, there isn't enough difference between these songs/styles to those of previous albums, where the song writing was a little better.
I can see some long time fans enjoying this, but other fans of the early years not responding at all and as for outsiders or casual fans - I can't see any enthusiasm being raised at all by this release.
BOTTOM LINE: Just another MSG album I am afraid. That's not necessarily a bad thing for many, but there's also nothing here to warrant getting over excited about. Had the songs had a little more life and energy, maybe that would have been a better result.
In comparison to classic Michael Schenker at his best - this is a long way short.
PRODUCTION: 85% SONGS: 50% VIBE: 55%ATTITUDE: 50%
ESSENTIAL FOR: Die hard Schenker fans only.



16/11/04: propane - kprinty@socalrr.com
Rating: 98
Michael Schenker ALWAYS satisfies, musically!

30/06/03: Edwin Baeyens - edwin.baeyens1@pandora.be
Rating: 55
I've really given up on Schenker releasing any more classic stuff, either with UFO or MSG. But I do keep on hoping for some good stuff. It isn't here, I'm afraid. Poor songwriting, average vocals and frankly, Schenker's guitar work is far from what it used to be. His riffing is still vintage (and actually the only redeeming quality of this album), but the solos don't seem to go anywhere. Also, the lack of keyboards is something I can't really live with. Pity, because MSG used to be my favourite band back in the heydays.

30/05/02: Zorro - cintronf@coqui.net
Rating: 65
This is very difficult for me to say because Michael Schenker is one of my favorite axeman of all time. But this album doesn't have any direction, it's lack of inspiration, a simple cheap copy of "Unforgiven" and also Chris Logan is trying to imitate -at his best- the same projection of Kelly Keeling. I don't say the album is completely bad, only is something missing here, but not at all. The very first track "No Turning Back", that might be a missing song for the "Unforgiven" sessions, it's a killer, a huge way to start. Also, "My Time's Up" follows the same vibe, and keeping the attitude of MSG, excellent song. In the same way follows the tracks: 3,4,5,7 and 13 are the next ones to keep this thing up, but only 7 out of 14 songs, very questionable? And the reason for that is because a lot of songs on this one doesn't belong here. Obvious, "Be Aware of Scorpions" will never be a remarkable album for MSG, like his previous, "MSG (McAuley)", "Written In The Sand" and "Unforgiven", just a good one. Last, I like to added here and this is for you Mike (or Andrew if you talked to him)- please, listen to every fan, the truly ones, we're screaming for a McAuley Schenker Group comeback! one big album, just for one more time!

14/05/02: PABLO RIOFRIO - priofrio@hotmail.com
Rating: 87
Es un muy buen disco. Lo que pasa (para aquellos que lo califican de mas o menos para abajo)es que no es un trabajo similar a lo que ha hecho MSG en el pasado, es mas bien un cd un tanto bluesie como algo en los caminos de BAD COMPANY , BURNING RAIN o BADLANDS.
Un muy buen cd con excelente vocalista y perfectos solos de guitarra. Recomendado.

12/03/02: Harmony Row - harmonyrow@prodigy.net
Rating: 99
This is clearly Michaels best release since the classic "Perfect Timing". Vocalist Chris Logan is a pure gem, as his vocals remind me a lot of Danny Vaughn (Waysted, Tyketto, Vaughn). As a band in general, this may be the best line-up Schenker has but together in ages. If the wonderful "Written In The Sand" release had this assembled group, it would have been just as killer. I've always been an MSG fan, so it came to no surprise that I fell in love with this CD, but I honestly believe that new listeners will enjoy this just as much as us long-timers. By the way, there is NO FILLER tracks anywhere. It's a strong release from beginning to end.

19/02/02: Brian Burgess - brianburgess1@yahoo.com
Rating: 94
Schenker has once again come to the forefront of the melodic rock scene with this release. Solid vocals by Chris Logan, excellent drumming by Jeff Martin (ex Badlands) and some of Michael's best melodies and riffing in years. If you want to hear Michael smoke just listen to "Because I Can" at maximum volume! His best MSG CD in quite some time. Enjoy Michael's brilliant guitar playing as he is the master of melodic metal guitar!

28/01/02: Eelgram - lgraham@airmail.net
Rating: 60
Few guitarists mix melody and virtuosity with a signature tone. Michael Schenker is among those elite six-stringers. From Scorpions and UFO to MSG (and back to UFO again), Schenker has built a solid body of work that no one can deny. However, "Be Aware of Scorpions" sees the virtuoso drown in a sea of cliched blues-rock, limp melodies and flat production. And it's not a new trend. In fact, "Written In The Sand" and other post-McAuley Schenker releases have proferred tired workouts in blues-rock tedium. Where's the spark, the fire that characterized classic Schenker? Chris Logan is a strong vocalist, but he lacks personality. Sure, some tracks hit the mark. But "Reflection Of Your Heart" and "Work Of Art" are the sad exceptions to the rule. Where are the "Desert Song"s and "Into The Arena"s of today? It pains me to witness one of my lifelong guitar heroes descend into mediocrity. I've been into Schenker since the early '80s and defended him while the masses jumped on the Eddie Van Halen bandwagon (though there's nothing wrong with Ed; I just always championed the underdog). The past several years have seen Schenker sizzle (UFO "Walk On Water" and to "Covenant") and write faceless bar-rock blandness on "Written In Sand" and his latest release). But it's not only MSG; Schenker's recent instrumental discs lack any personality whatsoever, except for the magnificent "Thank You." As a Schenker acolyte, I'd thank my hero to somehow recapture his muse and write some inspired music. Please, Mikey, before it's too late!!!!

14/01/02: Miguel - miggue@jazzfree.com
Rating: 90
Fantastico album! donde Mr. Michael vuelve al sonido que le hizo triunfar y vuelve a retomar las riendas de su banda.
Buen fichaje de vocalista.

30/12/01: bridgeofsighs - bridgeofsighs7@yahoo.com
Rating: 0
I think this has some of the best songs MSG has done in some time. The first 5 songs especially get heavy rotation in the stereo. Very catchy tunes with great Schenker guitar. Like Chris Logan as much if not more than Robin McAuley who I really enjoy.
Rev Jones is a must see live......

22/12/01: Neil Higson - neil.higson@btinternet.com
Rating: 85
Sorry Andrew, I have to disagree with you again here. Herr Schenker has some serious problems to overcome if the latest rumours are well founded but when he can keep it together for long enough he can produce, with his merry-go-round of musicians, some high quality hard rock. This release has taken me many more listens to get into than some of MSG's earlier releases and is some way from the more radio friendly Robin McCauley era but now I really dig it and its more satisfying because of it. Chris Logan was completely unknown to me prior to this release but has a strong voice and sounds at times remarkably like Danny Bowes (Thunder) which for this style of rock suits nicely. Danny singing for MSG now there's a thought!It would be easy for Michael to churn out repeats of previous styles and songs but you have to give him credit for trying to keep things fresh. Having said that its not some major change in direction but simply a healthy progression and will sit nicely alongside 'Written In The Sand' and 'The Unforgiven' and stay on my playlist for some time to come. Hopefully Michael can keep it together to follow this up sometime.

16/12/01: Strat Shredder - saberrocks@msn.com
Rating: 90
I have to say that this cd is a truly great "Work of Art" Michaels Playing on this is outstanding !! The band seems to have a place in our modern world , Without Falling out of the element of what Msg really stands For, I was very Happy that the writing is as strong as it has been in past ,This cd is just as good as "save Yourself" or Unforgiven ,But opens up a New door for the band,I could see Msg staying around for a long time...

02/12/01: frytz - neytif@aol.com
Rating: 80
Well, I don't think it's that bad, although the songs aren't really classics! I can't really remember one Chorus! I think it woul have been cooler to have Jeff Martin sing all of the tunes, cos I like his voice, especially on "sweet cool kiss of the night" (Bonus Track of the Written in the Sand rerelease) he's just awesome! But it still Rocks and Michaels playing is still over the (alcohol fueled) top..........

02/12/01: steve - vferri1@hotmail.com
Rating: 90
i totally disagree with the other review. this cd is unlike any ufo/msg album i have ever heard. and i have heard everything michael schenker has played since 1970. this cd is like a lays potato chip. you can't hear one without listening to the first ten. track 11 and 12 i can do without, 13 is ok. bonus track 14 is awesome like the first ten. i suggest a strong buy.

02/12/01: Tonester - freakster1129@cs.com
Rating: 85
Initially, I was pretty reluctant to pick up this album. With the horrible Manchester incident and the condition of Michael Schenker, I had all but given up hope that there would ever be the kind of quality and memorable songs that Schenker has produced in the past. Being the dedicated fan, I gave MSG one last chance. I'm glad I did. This album has some really catchy songs on it. Granted, it's not to the level of Walk On Water, but by no means is it a piece of crap either. It is a new MSG, new bandmates, new sound, a little more diverse than the last two MSG studio albums. A refreshing sound that may be viewed as disjointed in places, but that's what makes the songs interesting. A couple of spins should have you playing back Standing On The Road, Fallen the Love and Reflection Of Your Heart in the depths of your mind. The latter being my pick on this album. It was also an extra that sixteen songs were recorded and released on the Euro, Japanese BAOS and Written In The Sand. They should have released all the songs on one album, but for those who like BAOS, it is worth the money for the bonus songs. All I can say is give it a try, have an open mind and be thankful that Mr. Schenker will be heard from again, on this planet or another........


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