Band Line Up:
Aljoscha ‘Ali’ Thaleikis – Vocals, Guitars, Keys
Philip ‘Faf’ Pfaff – Bass, Vocals
Janosch ‘Jay’ Holland – Drums
01. Birds In Trees
02. Leaving Home
03. Wasting Time
04. Chosen Fool
05. Johnny’s Song
06. If You Want To
07. City Lights
10. Do It Right
11. Back In The Days
12. Still Turning
The Tips are a reggae band hailing from Dusseldorf, Germany, with their third release named Twists ‘N’ Turns. German reggae? you might ask, it’s certainly a new genre of music for me and I’m looking forward to seeing if, firstly the genre works and the blends into one, and secondly, if The Tips showcase the genre in it’s best light, and and most importantly, what the quality of the album is a whole.
‘Twist ‘N’ Turns”s introductory track is ‘Bird In Trees’, a chilled and rocky start which fills me with optimism for the rest of the album. The collaboration with Benji Webbe from Skindred adds the distinct individuality and is most definitely the ideal track to introduce people who haven’t listened to German reggae band previously. The track is light, but heavy, melodic at points with a nice rhythm and even the surprise of metal vocals in the middle of the track, which add a nice touch to a well balanced, Summery feel good song.
The next track which caught my attention was ‘Wasting Time’. Talk about a 360 spin! This is very pop like-addition to the album, with a traditional structure and, musically but not lyrically, a feel good factor. Tthe storytelling particularly is simple, yet effective, doing exactly what it needs to do. However, this track was completely different to what I was expecting, which I did find a little puzzling!
With ‘If You Want To’ I feel The TiPS go back to their roots, delivering a very free flowing lyrical chill out track, nothing more, nothing less. It’s a creative compliment to the album, needed that added spark of quality for me to use superlatives regarding this track and to be honest I was expecting more especially how the album started off and hoping the only way is up from now on.
Do It Right is defiantly doing it right and after listening to over half the album I’m now seeing the potential and creative direction The TiPS are in and what makes German reggae distinctive as a music genre. The criticism of this track I would give is the introduction of the song, is 47 seconds really needed to bring the track into life, its a strange one for me and even if you make it 30 second intro, then the track shines brightly instead of just shining. Again disappointment has risen and so far there is one stand out track on the album for me.
Let’s finish off the album off with a bang with Still Turning, not what I was expecting, however the track works and rounds off the Twist ‘N’ Turns very nicely. Has a very British feel, very stripped back with the vocal being centre stage with the lyrics would resonant with some of The TiPS fan base as Still Turning creates a emotional connection with the listener.
I’ve come to the conclusion that there might be better examples of German regaee out there in the musical universe and what The TiPS have provided is a good example of the genre, but as I went through the album, aurally I wasn’t set alight and was a flame flickering in the darkness, however the stand out being Birds In Trees and makes me think when The TiPS put this album together with the material they created, surely there was a more fitting track to add then Wasting Time. It just doesn’t fit the album and is isolated from the rest of the tracks.
The TiPS have given me my first taste of German reggae which has made me curious and will research to see what else is out there, that’s what Twist ‘N’ Turns has done, made me think and wonders right now there could be a twist on a music genre being created. Music evolves many times over and The TiPS produced a evolution which is enjoyable with a few question marks, but will give you the urge to explore and find out what else is really out there and that alone is powerful.
Reviewed By Z~Z