Album Cover Analysis RAMMSTEIN - By Anna Broomhead
In contrast to Mika’s album covers, the German band Rammstein use much darker and more poignant images when creating album covers and posters. This band are generally enjoyed by a certain audience. Fans of Mika are unlikely to enjoy Rammstein, and so Rammstein need to uphold a totally different image to Mika, so as to attract the appropriate audience. As well as appealing to the target audience, Rammstein’s album covers and posters also need to reflect the messages of their songs. As much of their music contains quite dark, and sometimes political messages, cartoon images, bright colours and rainbows would not be suitable for Rammstein’s image.
<ul><li>The German word ‘Mutter’ translates literally as ‘Mother’, and so links to the image of the unborn baby </li></ul><ul><li>This album contains songs such as "Mein Herz brennt" (My heart burns), "Mutter" (Mother), "Spieluhr" ("Music-box"), "Adiós" (Good-bye) and "Hallelujah“- all of these song titles suggest that they will contain spiritual or heartfelt messages, but this contrasts with Rammstein’s hard rock image; a baby is the main focus of this cover- as a baby is a beautiful thing, it links to the ‘beautiful’ names of the songs, but as it is an unborn baby pictured at a strange angle, it suggests that the ‘spiritual’ songs may have a hidden or abstract meaning. Rammstein are well-known for their abstract song lyrics and deep messages. </li></ul> ‘ Mutter’
<ul><li>This is an alternative album cover for Rammsten’s album ‘Mutter’. </li></ul><ul><li>This cover is similar to the original in the sense that both are quite abstract. The featured band member’s expression mirrors that of the unborn baby, suggesting that is how he sees himself, and linking him to the beautiful thing. </li></ul><ul><li>Both are naked and have similar facial features, showing a link between the two, but the baby’s mouth is slightly open as though about to speak, whereas this man’s mouth is clamped shut. This suggests the baby has a message to share, but that the man cannot share his-this could reflect the idea that age and maturity bring conflict and that being young offers opportunities unavailable to adults. </li></ul>
<ul><li>This image of Rammstein is related to the album ‘Mutter’ </li></ul><ul><li>The band are all naked with their eyes closed, making them seem vulnerable, which could link to a mother being a protective figure. It also makes them look like the baby featured on the album cover, creating a link between the two images. This allows Rammstein to associate themselves with the cover and so attract more listeners. </li></ul><ul><li>The band member on the right hand side of the image is the only one who does not have thick black hair, or is clean shaven. He is also slightly blurred and more out of focus than the others. This singles him out and suggests that he has a hidden side to him. </li></ul>
‘ Reise, Reise’ <ul><li>This album is probably the most abstract of all of Rammstein’s albums. </li></ul><ul><li>The white stripes on orange background look like a traffic cone, warning sign or workman’s jacket, and the edges of the image are rusted with screws in the corners. This makes it look like the whole album cover has been constructed by workmen. The ‘workmen’ could possibly be Rammstein. </li></ul><ul><li>This links to the band’s real-life image. During concerts and music videos, the band are often covered in dirt or oil and wearing tank tops with utility trousers. This is a typically ‘working class’ style of dressing, and could reflect how the band think of themselves. </li></ul>
<ul><li>This is the music poster for ‘Reise, Reise’ </li></ul><ul><li>The band are shown wearing tank tops and trousers again. They look stereotypically masculine and working class, and the plane in the background and camouflaged top suggest they are in the armed forces, which is a typically masculine career. </li></ul><ul><li>The plane itself links to the album title. ‘Reise’ translates to mean ‘journey’, and could relate to the plane in the sense that the plane physically helps them to travel, or it could relate to the fact that being in the armed forces takes you on a ‘journey’ through life. </li></ul><ul><li>Again, a band member has been singled out-he is pictured facing in a different direction to the band, ad standing higher than them. This could represent that he has different ideas and beliefs to the others, or that he is different altogether. </li></ul>
<ul><li>This is the poster for the album ‘Reise, Reise’. </li></ul><ul><li>It features an image from the music video to the song ‘Amerika’, which is featured on the album. At first, the song sounds as though America is being idolised as the perfect place to live, but in fact, the lyrics are sarcastic, and the whole video mocks the American way of life. </li></ul><ul><li>The use of this image is unusual, as people may not necessarily have seen the video to ‘Amerika’, and may find it hard to associate it with this album. They may not even know it is from this album, and so will not look for this album cover when browsing for it. </li></ul><ul><li>However, the words ‘Reise, Reise’, meaning ‘journey, journey’ links to them being on the moon, which is a very long journey from the Earth. This could suggest they are capable of anything, as they have reached the moon wearing only business suits. It also links to the theme of America, as they were the first country to land someone on the moon. </li></ul>
‘ Rosenrot’ <ul><li>This is the album cover for ‘Rosenrot’ </li></ul><ul><li>It features a beached military ship called ‘Rosenrot’. This suggests that the album is named after it. As it is a military ship, it suggests an element of success and triumph in war. However, as it is stranded, half-demolished and frozen in ice, the boat could be a metaphor for ‘war’ or battles only ending in disaster. This is reflected in the album’s third track ‘Mann Gegen Mann’. The song translates as ‘Man Against Man’ and is about homosexuality, criticising the narrow-minded views of society. Rammstein therefore see ‘war’ against homosexuality as bad. </li></ul>
<ul><li>The album also features songs called “Benzin” (German word for ‘Petrol’), "Feuer und Wasser" (Fire And Water), "Stirb nicht vor mir" (Don’t Die Before Me), “Hilf Mir” (Help Me), and "Wo bist du" (Where Are You). </li></ul><ul><li>The first two songs are quite aggressive and have aggressive-sounding titles. However, the remainder of the songs have sadder, more romantic names, which suggest a cry for help and a need for security. </li></ul><ul><li>As the styles of songs vary so much, it suggests that Rammstein’s moods, attitudes and messages are constantly changing and contrasting with each other, which is how Rammstein might think. </li></ul>
<ul><li>I am unsure if this is an album cover or promotional poster for ‘Rosenrot’ </li></ul><ul><li>The image is blurred, suggesting all is not as it seems, and that everyone has a mysterious side to them. </li></ul><ul><li>This reflects the songs included on the album, as Rammstein do not normally write romantic or sad songs, choosing instead to write about political issues and anger. This shows that they must have another side to them, as they are able to write different styles of music, with different meanings and messages. </li></ul><ul><li>The colours of this image look military, linking it to ‘Reise, Reise’ and creating a link </li></ul>
<ul><li>This shows the band members of Rammstein in smart, slightly old-fashioned clothing. This is unusual, as dirt and military colours are usually what Rammstein wear. </li></ul><ul><li>The clothes in this image look more sophisticated than how Rammstein normally dress, again supporting the theory that they are able to carry off many different identities at any time. </li></ul><ul><li>This gives them a mysterious air, and links to the diversity of their songs. </li></ul><ul><li>The light blue and white stripes link to the orange and white stripes from ‘Reise, Reise’, creating another link, but providing another angle. This means you are still sure of who the band is, but allows you to see another side of them. </li></ul>
<ul><li>This is the album cover for ‘Sehnsucht’ </li></ul><ul><li>This is one of Rammstein’s most graphically striking album covers. It features the lead singer’s disfigured face. </li></ul><ul><li>His grey skin and rolled-back eyes make it look like he’s dead, and the metal around his mouth looks slightly like the thorns Jesus wore when he was crucified. This could be a metaphor, showing that the singer and his band are ‘crucified’ by people for their messages. </li></ul><ul><li>The black background draws attention to the face, and makes it look even more grotesque, drawing more attention to the cover. </li></ul>
Here are some alternative versions of the same album cover. Each band member has his own version, suggesting they each have their own problems. It also shows the differences and the similarities between them, as each one is pictured in the same style, but with different metal instruments on their faces representing their own problems.
This is the album poster for ‘Sehnsucht’. Each separate album cover is combined into one poster. It shows the band are all the same as each other, but still all have problems.
<ul><li>This is the album cover for ‘Herzeleid’ which translates as ‘heartbreak’. The title is odd as Rammstein’s music generally isn’t about things such as heartbreak. </li></ul><ul><li>This is the original album cover showed the band members bare-chested in a style that resembled Strength Through Joy (a state-controlled leisure organization in the Third Reich in Germany) in the eyes of some critics, who accused the band of trying to sell themselves as "poster boys for the Master Race. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Rammstein have vigorously denied this and said that they want nothing to do with politics or supremacy of any kind. </li></ul><ul><li>One of the band members, Christian "Flake" Lorenz, annoyed by the claim, has remarked that it is just a photo, and should be understood as such. </li></ul><ul><li>The rough, dirty appearance of the band members fits in with their usual image, and makes them look very working-class. The bright orange flower contrasts with this image to represent contrasting ideas and messages. </li></ul>
<ul><li>The album cover was later changed to this to avoid controversies. </li></ul><ul><li>This cover stands out, as it looks almost holy. White is a pure, innocent colour, and represents holiness. The way that the band are displayed, all pale and next to eachother, makes them look like angels. </li></ul><ul><li>This is unusual, as Rammstein usually prides itself on looking rough and aggressive. This change in appearance draws attention to the cover. </li></ul><ul><li>After the controversy of the original album cover, this one was probably made to convey the band as innocent. </li></ul>