Sound — 10
System has really evolved since Toxicity. For one thing, they switched to Db tuning. Also, Daron got rid of his Ibanez Iceman in favor of a Gibson SG. The sound of Mezmerize is much more crisp than previous records. It's also more melodic (except Cigaro). John Dolmayan's drumming was excellent as usual. Only complaint is that Shavo's bass doubles the guitar on most of the songs, so it is rarely heard unless you got bass boost. But excellent sound overall.
Lyrics — 8
Lyrics are very meaningful, from political (BYOB, Sad Statue, Violent Pornography) to mortality (Question!). Cigaro and Violent Pornography have funny as hell lyrics. The vocals are excellent, too, even with Daron singing more! He's a great singer on Lost in Hollywood. However, Question! was the only song written entirely by Serj. So Daron, as ssomeone right below me said, give Serj back his pen and paper and let him write some more stuff like Sugar and Suggestions.
Overall Impression — 10
I can't chose my favorite song so I'll describe them all. 01. Soldier Side (Intro) - very nice clean riff and excellent vocal harmonies. Blends perfectly into the next track 4.5/5. 02. BYOB - the hit single. Excellent fast paced song with the bridge dominated by Daron's screaming. The chorus is rather addictive, too. Third favorite song 5/5. 03. Revenga - good guitar parts and a fast verse. The drumming on this album is at it's best 4.5/5. 04. Cigaro - the best damn song on this album, and certainly the heaviest. As stated before, hilarious lyrics (this song gets radio play but was never a single; it leaked) 5/5. 05. Radio/Video - nothing too special, but the reggae bridge sparks this song. I can't help bobbing my head to it 4/5. 06. This Cocaine Makes Me Feel Like I'm On This Song - for a start, the song title is awesome. This is a more old school System song with Serj's wild vocals standing proud 4.5/5. 07. Violent Pornography - sound isn't that System-ish to me, but the lyrics stand out as the album's best and funniest. Best chorus ever 4/5. 08. Question! - the second single, and a great song with acoustic verses. Yep, Serj plays an acoustic guitar on this one 4.5/5. 09. Sad Statue - my 2nd favorite song. Very fast paced and then it slows down so unexpectedly for the chorus it's sweet 5/5. 10. Old School Hollywood - worst song on the album. It's good with the voice modifier and keys/synthesizer being used, but rather un-System-ish 3/5. 11. Lost In Hollywood - like Soldier Side, this song is clean and guitarred well. Daron sings solo with Serj ocassionally backing him to create nice vocal harmonies. Great song to end with. Very haunting. That's my review of Mezmerize. A must have for System fans. By the way, quit complaining about the album's length. As Hypnotize is coming out in fall, we'll get over twenty new System songs Within the same year. How's that for a deal.