Tokio Hotel, "Humanoid"

Album Review

It's probably unwise to assume that "Darkside of the Sun," the second track from the German band Tokio Hotel's second international set, "Humanoid," references the famous Pink Floyd album with which it almost shares a title. After all, little about Tokio Hotel suggests the group's young members feel any connection to the classic rock canon. Led by elaborate-haired frontman Bill Kaulitz, the band looks to Depeche Mode the way guitar groups regard Led Zeppelin. With its whirring synth riffs ("Noise"), pumping arena-emo grooves ("Pain of Love") and liberal use of Auto-Tune ("Hey You"), "Humanoid" is no less appealingly shiny than its 2007 stateside debut, "Scream." But with the exception of the song "Automatic," an instantly catchy chunk of bubble-grunge perfection, it does have fewer killer melodies, which allows more of your brain to focus on Kaulitz's lyrics. That's a dubious advantage: The song "Dogs Unleashed" sounds an awful lot like he's singing, "We are dogs in heat." --Mikael Wood