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Nina
05-22-2007, 04:01 AM
ilovellamas wrote this reply in the "what album are you listening to?" thread and while I want to reply to her, I didnt want to spam the other thread by going offtopic. Everyone can feel free to give their opinions on this album.


I have nothing better to do, and I'm listening to SOAD... I'm gonna write a review on Mezmerize now.

First off, I'm sort of a strange fan of SOAD. I heard of them in a really weird way. One day in 1998, I was sitting in class, and my friend Matt wanted to look through my CD wallet. I left class, and in study hall, I opened the wallet to find two new CDs in it.[...] I didn't know who either album was, so I listened to each in my CD player that day. I didn't really go for the LB one, but I fell in love with the blank one, and it was the first metal album I ever liked. I found out a few days later who it was, but that didn't even matter. [...]

When I first heard Cigaro on the radio, it just struck me as a really generic and typical metal song. I was sad SOAD released it, but figured the album would be better. I then heard BYOB on the radio, and liked it, so I had hope. Then I bought the album.

Like I said before, I hated it. I even gave it two listens and still hated it. I wanted to take it back for my money. I've never felt that way about an album before. If I didn't think the term "selling out" was so lame and overused, I would've used it to describe this album. SOAD saw their biggest success with their ballads like "Spiders" and "Aerials", and I remember reading after the success of "Aerials", Daron saying in an interview that they were probably gonna make their next album more melodic. I was unsure as to what that meant, but whatever. Well, they took melody overboard. They stuck Daron on lead vocals too much, and I personally (as well as other people I know) think he's a great harmonizer, but does not have a voice for melody. The songs on the album were too smooth, and the songs Daron took lead on just didn't feel structured like SOAD songs. It seemed like they knew this, and so on Serj's songs, it felt like he tried too hard to compensate for that; some of the songs ended up being all over the place.

The worst song on the album is "Old School Hollywood". Daron's voice really annoyed me in that song, it was repetitive (which was territory I don't remember the band EVER touching before on earlier albums), it overused electronica, and the lyrics were horrible. And in general, it didn't sound like system. If I'd heard that on the radio before hearing this album, I would not have known it was them... in a bad way. My rating for this song is 3/10.

"Lost in Hollywood" also did not sound like them, but I liked it. That is the only song Daron sings lead on that I like. The harmonization between Daron and Serj is phenomenal, and the song is pretty well-structured. Plus I enjoy the guitar part in the song. This song gets a 9.5/10 (the lyrics weren't really good enough for a 10).

Now that the two songs that really did not sound like SOAD are out of the way, onto the rest.

Soldier Side Intro - I thought it was a really nice intro for the album, with great harmonies, and it only got better once I bought "Hypnotize" and heard the actual song of "Soldier Side".

BYOB - This song is a nice system song, and does actually sound like them. However, it did feel a bit forced. Their style does include being unpredictable and clever, but it really felt like they were forcing it to do that in this song. Lyrically, it's good, but the topic is so overdone and kinda cliche. I really enjoy the chorus, though. One of the best songs on the album. 8/10.

Revenga - the lead in from BYOB resolving to the intro to Revenga is so awesome, and I love that. This is possibly my favorite song on the album. I love when Serj does the crazy rapping off of lyrics like this, especially when it's not for the whole song. This song also did a good job of being unpredictable without sounding forced. The "I saw her laugh" part fits really well, and brings the song to a pretty intermission. And the conclusion is great. There isn't anything to dislike about this song. 10/10.

Radio/Video - I love the waltz feel of this song, with the accordion and such... but it again touches the repetitiveness. I do love the harmonization when Serj is singing the "they take me away from" part and Daron is singing the "ah" in the background. There is an awesome slow breakdown, also. It really does bring forth their strong harmonization strengths, but still Daron's voice... yeesh. 7.5/10

Violent Pornography - Generally a good song... I hated it when I first got the album, because it really doesn't sound like SOAD... but now I like it. It often gets in my head more than any other song on the album, and Serj's voice rocks for most of it. The harmonization isn't very good here... but that's okay. I generally like the lyrics in this one. However, it does really hit the "repetition" button. There is only a handful of lyrics in the entire song. The drumming in the song is really nice, though, and that helps make the repetition seem less repetitive. And the "ahh" during the second chorus makes it powerful. Without the awesome drumming, I'd give it 7.5, but with the drumming, it's brought to an 8, maybe 8.5/10.

Question! - This is a pretty good ballad for them. I never was big on "Aerials", but I think they have it in them to write good ballads. The harmonies in the chorus are rather creative, and Daron's voice sounds really nice. And this is more proof of why I love Serj. The song sounds kind of generic, but it's nice that they can pull of a generic song well. This is another song I really disliked when I first heard the album. 8.5/10

Sad Statue - I don't like this song. I never did. Every time this song comes on, I'm like, "great, time for two shitty songs in a row". It's boring, the harmonies in the verse annoy the shit out of me... the chorus is okay, but boring. There is nothing special in this song at all. It's not a pile of shit like the song after it, but it's about equal to Cigaro. And the lyrics are lame. 5/10.

My average rating for the album seems to be 7.4. Maybe I'll review Hypnotize later. I think I liked it more than this one. I really do love Lost in Hollywood, though... what a good song.


First of all, I think it's a cool idea to listen to a CD and not know what the band is. This way you can be unbiased; that's at least how I would imagine myself to be. I know many many many band names, but I often havent heard a single song from them. But I can remember opinions on bands quite well. Therefore I'm always biased when I listen to a band whose name/reviews I've read or heard before.

In general I dont understand your main point: Why did you dislike the album immediatelly because it didnt sound like them? What does that have to do with liking the music? Would you have liked it more when you listened to it the first time if the band had been a different one?
This is something I have difficulties understanding. If your answer to that is "because I thought they sold out" (which you hinted at in your reply) then I have even less understanding for this. It is as "invalid" to me as saying you dont like the music of an artist because you dont like their personality, or because they dont write their own songs. Music is music to me and in my opinion all these other things are secondary (but not unimportant).
When I LIKE the music, I dont care what the artist does, or how another album of the artist sounded. Each album is a different piece of work/art to me. One often doesnt appriciate every single painting of an artist either, right?

Now to Mezmerize (for anyone who might wonder: she did ask me to reply to her review if I have the time):

I have a different opinion of Old School Hollywood. I guess the main aspect is the fact that his voice doesnt annoy me. But other than that I really enjoy the music of this song. The lyrics are medicore, maybe bad, but the music alone makes me want to give it a 5/10.

I wholeheartly agree with you on Lost In Hollywood. I also agree with your opinion on the Soldier Side Intro, but I dont have Hypnotize so I cant comment on that.

BYOB - I agree that it's a typical song of theirs, and I agree that it's a very good song, but I dont think it sounds forced. Yet I agree with your points...I'd also give it something like an 8.

I'm not very keen on Revenga. It's a good song, but that's actually what I call repetitive. We seem to have a different opinion on what repetitive means in general. Because I dont even notice the repetition in Violent Pornography. It's one of the most enjoyable songs in my opinion.

Radio/Video is one of my favorite songs. I love the harmonization and I dont get bored with it although the lyrics are the same all the time, because I focus on different things each time the lyrics start over.

I dont find the lyrics to Sad Statue lame at all. And I adore that song. I'd definitely give it more than 5 points.

Okay, I need to end this now because there are too many characters for one reply (evil BBS). What I've noticed is that we seem to like music for different reasons. And we have different taste in music in general. So there's not much to talk about anymore, we just dont agree because we like different things about music.

Jakebert
05-22-2007, 09:40 AM
I've never understood all of the praise that SOAD get. I see nothing really unique or interesting about them, and their lyrics are not as intelligent as they're made out to be.

Llamas
05-22-2007, 09:48 AM
I'll reply to Nina's post later... cause my response will likely be pretty long.

I can't speak for everyone, Jakebert, but I can only speak for myself. When I heard their self titled album (and like I said, had no idea who I was listening to), I fell in love with a few things. The top thing for me is Serj's voice. That man can do anything, from growling to screaming to singing in a high pitched feminine voice to singing semi-operatic to whatever. He comes up with some of the best vocal harmonies and counter-melodies I've ever heard in metal or rock. Second of all, in a world where 99% of music follows the typical pop structure, often including Verse-verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-chorus, or some variation of that, it's really refreshing to hear music that totally abandons that. In SOAD's music, they often don't even have choruses... which can be really awesome. It's great to hear tempo changes, time signature changes, and varied structures. Their lyrics are average. Some of their lyrics are very deep, but too many of them are just anti-government crap. Songs like "Forest" and "Soil" have amazing lyrics, but the amazing songs are counter balanced by shit like "Old School Hollywood" and "Prison Song". In the end, they're rather average for lyrics. I do like their lyrics, though, because they're very unique and not what you'd hear from any other band.

That's my two cents. Nina gets a reply later.

endlesst0m
05-22-2007, 10:03 AM
I've never understood all of the praise that SOAD get. I see nothing really unique or interesting about them, and their lyrics are not as intelligent as they're made out to be.

The singer is pretty unique, I don't think anybody sounds like him. But yeah, they aren't all that great, just ok.

Llamas
05-22-2007, 12:24 PM
Okay, response to Nina.


In general I dont understand your main point: Why did you dislike the album immediatelly because it didnt sound like them? What does that have to do with liking the music? Would you have liked it more when you listened to it the first time if the band had been a different one?
This is something I have difficulties understanding. If your answer to that is "because I thought they sold out" (which you hinted at in your reply) then I have even less understanding for this. It is as "invalid" to me as saying you dont like the music of an artist because you dont like their personality, or because they dont write their own songs. Music is music to me and in my opinion all these other things are secondary (but not unimportant).
When I LIKE the music, I dont care what the artist does, or how another album of the artist sounded. Each album is a different piece of work/art to me. One often doesnt appriciate every single painting of an artist either, right?
To me, when a band that I really, really love releases something, I expect it to sound like them. Part of what I love about certain bands is their sounds. I love SOAD's sound, and was not happy to hear something that didn't sound like them. Had I heard the album without hearing any of their earlier stuff first, I probably would have liked it more, or if it was a different band. However, I still just straight up don't like Daron on lead. No matter who the band is or anything, his voice is very thin and shakey, and it's just not powerful enough for the power in SOAD's music.

Of course selling out is a secondary thing, and as I said, I hate that term. However, when I use it, I mean that the band sacrificed some important elements of their sound to fit the mainstream. In SOAD's case, they did sacrifice some things that tended to be some of my favorites. It's not like "omg they sold out so I don't like it". I mean, the Goo Goo Dolls sold out at an epic scale, and I still seriously love Dizzy up the Girl, which is like the definition of selling out. But they didn't give up any of the sounds that defined why I liked them to do that, you know? Selling out in itself doesn't necessarily affect my opinion of an artist.


'm not very keen on Revenga. It's a good song, but that's actually what I call repetitive. We seem to have a different opinion on what repetitive means in general. Because I dont even notice the repetition in Violent Pornography. It's one of the most enjoyable songs in my opinion.
It's like... verse, chorus, verse, chorus, guitar part, sudden drop to bridge... and the bridge builds through the second time through, guitar solo which builds, chorus, strong chorus outro which is much different. (I know you're aware of the song structure, I just wrote it down for my own benefit). I dunno. If you're referring to the guitarwork itself, it is rather repetitive in the song, but I think the vocals and structure of the song overshadow the repetition in the guitar. I don't think we define repetition differently, I think that in these songs, were were just talking about different elements. With Violent Pornography and Old School Hollywood, I was referring to the structure of the songs (VP is like... verse 1, verse 2, verse 1, verse 2, chorus a couple times, verse 1, verse 2, a cool break, then the chorus times a billion for the rest of the song. It's repetitive structurally, but the choruses through the end of the song are helped by having the instrumentation change and with really good drumming..., and OSH is like... electronic crap, really short verse of two lines, chorus that's 3 lines total, then saying old school hollywood a few times, another really short verse of two lines, chorus again, saying old school hollywood a bunch, electronic stuff, chorus again...) and the lyrics. Both songs recycle very few lyrics for 3 minutes. That's what I was referring to. What were you thinking of?


Radio/Video is one of my favorite songs. I love the harmonization and I dont get bored with it although the lyrics are the same all the time, because I focus on different things each time the lyrics start over.

I dont find the lyrics to Sad Statue lame at all. And I adore that song. I'd definitely give it more than 5 points.
I did say Radio/Video was repetitive, but I also stated that it wasn't such a big deal. There are differences each time, but it is still repetitive. Just not bad. And with the lyrics to Sad Statue, I just find their political lyrics to get really tiring. And this song didn't really bring anything new to the table. I do think they're some of the band's worse lyrics.

And I don't think that having different things to like about music means we have nothing to talk about... "omg I agree" gets old... I much prefer to compare and contrast opinions and such. I find it very interesting to have conversations with people who disagree with me, as long as it's not a debate/argument or whatever.