Der To is a German rock artist, who is active since 2010. On 11th March 2022, he is releasing his fifth album, Hand aufs Herz, which translates to “Hand on heart” or “Be honest”. I have been curious how truthful the release finally is. Here is my review.
Der To – About The Artist
Der To (“The To”) is an abbreviation of Tonja, the first name of the artist. He was born and raised in Celle Northeast of Celle. After being a member in punk bands, he decided to turn solo. Even though there is still a touch of punk in his releases, he is nowadays rather doing indie-rock with a bit of hard rock. His debut album has been the 2012 Gute Reise (“Good Travels”). His most recent album has been Zurück nach vorn (“Back forward”), which has been published in 2019.
Der To – Hand aufs Herz – Track by Track
The thirteen track album lasts 41 minutes.
1. Der Träumer
The almost two minute intro feels to be a bit too pathetic – but in my point of view there are not too many really good intros to albums anyway. So just let’s take it as it is and listen to the second one.
Zehn is the in-fact opener to the album. The song reminds me a quite a lot of some songs of the German hard rock legends, Böhse Onkelz. This also includes that the song has a certain ease and stays in your mind while listening. Not a bad opener at all.
3. Hand aufs Herz
The title track and single release is a nice rocker, without a doubt. However, it does not feel that stark and hard as its predecessor. The bridge even feels to come with a certain soft rock touch to me.
4. Herz verloren
Jedes mal, wenn du den Raum betrittst,
Bleibt die Zeit kurz stehen
Und ich wünschte mir Du könntest Dich
Mit meinen Augen sehen.
(“Every time you enter the room
Time is standing still for a moment
And I wish that you could see yourself
through my eyes”)
This beautiful rock ballad is one of the nicest songs of the album. The song is about an unlucky love, Der To is creating a lovely, emotional atmosphere. Lovely vocals.
5. Vom Punk zum Dad
The song translates “From punk to a dad”. The song is beautifully describing the metamorphosis of Der To through life. The song has a nice energetic punk rock style. Jeder Schritt war’s wert – “Every step has been worth it”. And this song is also worth it. My favorite one.
Fallen starts with some riffs, but then changes towards a softer punk sound. After the impressive Vom Punk zum Dad, the song feels to be more plain and average than it actually is.
Even though the song is rather short, it works with some contrasts and has softer rock parts as well as angry, powerful moments. The song has got some energy, but I feel that other tracks in here simply catch me better.
The second single release is praising the childhood years, the magic of standing together. The song translates to family ties. Impressive chorus.
Und nichts von dem kommt jemals wieder zurück
Vermisse jede Sekunde mit Euch wie verrückt
Ach, Familienbande, Du warst und bist mein Glück
Auch wenn ich weiß, nichts kommt jemals wieder zurück.
(“And nothing of that is coming back again
I miss every second with you as crazy
Oh, family ties, you have been and you are my luck
Even though I know, nothing ever comes back”)
This emotional song about summer memories is a rather slow one. Again, placed right after a powerful, very well written track, the song troubles a bit to get the presence it actually should receive.
The tenth track means “Quicksand” in German. The song starts with a rather melancholic mood, but then turns into a rather angry mood in the chorus.
11. Für ein Amen
In this song, Der To is doing very harsh critics on the church. The key topic is child abuse in here. Und jeder der schweigt, macht sich mitschuldig – and everyone who is not speaking up is guilty as well. A very straight song with a clear message. Really good one.
Spiegelbild is a very rhythmic song, which is powerful and heading straight forward. However, it also has a strong punk rock touch again. One of the most unique tracks on the album.
13. Nur hier
Nur hier (“Just here”) is the four minute farewell from Hand auf Herz. The song is praising nowadays life, home, having a wife with kids – the perfect “thank you” at the end of the album.
Der To – Hand aufs Herz – Spotify
Here is the album on Spotify:
Der To – Hand aufs Herz – My View
I haven’t known Der To and his music before the review. However, the 2022 album is really good and works with a nice range of tracks, from harder punk rock parts to very emotional moments. I really enjoyed listening to Hand aufs Herz.
German Rock Music Reviews