Friday, December 09, 2005

Mow Down The Sexy People

System of a Down – Hypnotize

After an excellent live performance at the beginning of the year System of a Down managed to produce one of the most disappointing albums I've ever heard with Mezmerize. Hypnotize is the second disc in the two album set, and I must say my expectations were very low. Fortunately they have been exceeded, but not by much.

The album certainly starts out reasonably well with Attack, the angry, passionate anti-war song I've been waiting for them to release since the war in Iraq began. It continues in a reasonably competent vein for a few more tracks, Dreaming is a mellower track a little reminiscent of Aerials and is followed by the silly but enjoyable Kill Rock'n Roll and the mediocre single Hypnotize.

From there it goes through a mostly regrettable middle section, the only bright spot being another aggressive anti-war song Tentative which alternates heavy sections full of thrashy tritones and gentle sad parts where Serj sings “Where do you expect us to go when the bombs fall?”

The album ends on a few high notes however. The obligatory 'Let Serj Do Silly Voices' track Vicinity of Obscenity is a winner (a large step up from Mezmerize's execrable This Cocaine Makes Me Feel Like I'm On This Song). Lonely Day overcomes some eye-rollingly bad lyrics (“The most loneliest day of my life/ Such a lonely day/ Should be banned”) with a truly passionate delivery and a killer guitar solo to be one of the best tracks on the album. The last track Soldier Side isn't too hot, but I'm a sucker for the whole returning to the beginning of the album (or in this case the beginning of Mezmerize) so I'll give it a pass.

Taken together Mezmerize and Hypnotize could have easily fit on to a single album, and it's obvious to me that what they should have done is cut out the crap, released it as a single album and had another worthy addition to their discography instead of a pair of disappointments.

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