Popaganda Review

artist: Head Automatica date: 07/10/2006 category: compact discs
Head Automatica: Popaganda
Release Date: Jun 6, 2006
Label: Warner Bros.
Genres: Alternative Pop/Rock, Indie Rock
Number Of Tracks: 14
From the opening blast of lead track "Graduation Day" Popaganda is a literate, impassioned homage to its influences but without being derivative.
 Sound: 8.3
 Lyrics: 8.3
 Overall Impression: 9
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (3) 9 comments vote for this album:
overall: 7.7
Popaganda Reviewed by: UG Team, on june 07, 2006
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sound: Nowdays the word "pop" has a very narrow and far not good meaning. Head Automatica brings it back to basics when popular music (which, as we all forgot, is what means) was much more variable and enjoyable, than today's American Idols. The idea of converting back to popular lies in frontman's Daryl Palumbo's dark past -- after fronting an alt-hardcore band Glassjaw, he brightened up to the fact that he's over acting like 18, studded belts, wining and black hair over one eye. It was time for a real pop deal, time to turn ridden to death Sex, Drugs, Rock-n-Roll into Sex, Drugs, Pop! With his fellow mates from American Nightmare he formed Head Automatica in 2004. After highly received debut album Decadence the band turned up with even more rebellious and bright Popaganda. The CD kicks off with a lead-off single -- Graduation Day, which is as well a very seasonable track on the record, scheduled to be out in June. The song is so convincing and blasting with energy that it makes you want to be at graduation or at least watch one of American Pie movies. The first part of the album has happy up-beat feeling with Curious being the best example. Tracks tend to the minor side more as the record gets closer to the end. Lying Through Your Teeth sounds like they just forgot to end the song or the producer cut it half-way through as it was too long. Piano and shimmering organ line, appearing in most songs, complete the best traditions of UK's pop. Guitars are gritty and sharp; plain structures, three-chord songs -- this is definitely not a place to look for guitar inspiration. Having learnt the mistakes on their debut effort, Head Automatic asked the producer Howard Benson (My Chemical Romance and The All-American Rejects) to help them to focus and to sculpture the work. Together they blend all kinds of styles that has ever been close to pop -- from punk to doo-wop and disco, which all together in their interpretation results as power pop. Thus album appeared sounding organic with perky tracks and infectious melodies. // 8

Lyrics: Daryl Palumbo tries everything but boredom. Sometimes his ideas come to absurd. Like singing in Nowhere Fast sounds more like vocal exercises Try to hit as many notes as you can, than actually something like a melody. Except for this song everything else is happy sing-alongs with lyrics so dumb that it's even funny. Laughing At You is an anthem for new loser bands -- Words feeling really sorry about your band/Like really sorry for your band should cut deep those dieing to sing a deal. To multiply the impression Palumbo's vocals sound like he's almost puking. // 7

Overall Impression: Popaganda is a tribute to '70s and '80s UK pop, owing much to Elvis Costello. The CD is full of punk energy and happy melodies that would cheer you up if you're feeling grumpy. Having released the album, the guys proved they've got serious intentions to change the meaning of in people's minds. Head Automatic may not be the revolution in pop music, but it's a good substitute for those looking for easy happy listening. Being new to pop, the band's still looking for the sound, sometimes using old cliches and the whole image still sounds a bit uncompleted. But these guys have got style and seems like they know what they're doing! Overall, pop rocks! // 8

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overall: 8.3
Popaganda Reviewed by: theindiekid, on june 06, 2006
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: The feel of the new album is a bit different from Decadance. It's a bit more poppy and got some slow tunes, instead of a party club kinda thing. But Daryl's voice and the music go hand in hand. Nowhere Fast, Laughing At You, and Lying Through Your Teeth are the songs that remind me most of the last album. They've even got some slow '50s dance kinda thing going on in Scandalous. One of my personal favorite's is the track "God" it's even got its own solo. // 8

Lyrics: Daryl's voice isn't as raspy as it was in Decadance. The lyrics are pretty straight forward, although its more pop this time as I've said before. And their all still pretty damn catchy. Such as "God" it's just so catchy and it's got a simple but catchy hook lyrics drum beat and so on, and it's got a new thing for Head Automatica. // 8

Overall Impression: I prefer Decadance over this, but this one's still a really good effort, if only Dan the Automator helped out on this one, I think it would've been way better. They got way more pop this time around but I still like it, not as much as Decadance, but I have a feeling that these are the kinds of albums that grow on you, you've got to listen to it a couple of times to really get into it. // 9

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overall: 9.7
Popaganda Reviewed by: ibanezbass27, on july 10, 2006
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: Head Automatica is a pop rock band, and since decaydance Head Automatica has made their music more "pop" which is why the album name is "pop"aganda. They have a lot of different songs, some fast, slow, and theyre all appealing. Some are more pop rock, some punk, but they're all amazing. They use cool guitar riffs and solos and awesome bass lines. They also have a pianist in the band so he does the keyboard piano and organ in the songs and I dont really care for pianos much but for this band ill make an exception because all of it sounds great. // 9

Lyrics: They lyrics are great, some lyrics are pretty deep like in "Cannibal Girl" and they have a lot of random lyrics, like one song titled "Egyptian Musk", and in another song called K Horse one of the lines is I've seen a fuckfest in the sun. Most of the lyrics relate with what is going on in people's lives. The lyrics fit in with the songs perfectly and they flow and it just sounds great. The singer has a great voice and it reminds me a little bit of the lead singer in Taking Back Sunday. The drummer provides backing vocals which sound great also. // 10

Overall Impression: This album is amazing, whether its the lyrics, the awesome guitar and bass riffs or the piano in the backround. The most impressive songs in my opinion are Graduation Day, Laughing At You, Lying Through Your Teeth, Nowhere Fast, Scandalous, Curious, God, Shot In The Back, Million Dollar Decision, She's Not It, Egyption Musck, Cannibal Girl, K Horse, and Beating Heart Baby, which is the whole album because this album is amazing. If I had to chose my favorites would be Cannibal Girl and Beating Heart Baby, because Cannibal Girl is just an awesome song, great melody and lyrics and everything and in Beating Heart Baby I love the guitar riffs in it, and the organ in the backround is a nice change. I don't hate anything about this album, their my favorite band right now and if I lost their album I would definately replace it in a heartbeat this album is great and if you like Taking Back Sunday, Blink 182, Alkaline Trio, or The Junior Varsity, or if you just feel like listening to some new music, Head Automatica is your band. // 10

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