Sound — 10
The sound on this album is so much different than that of Toxicity, but it's still so good. The biggest change is Daron's vocals. He doesn't have a bad voice, it works well with the songs; Serj's, though, is still much better. The way the melodies and heavy guitars blend on some songs works well. It's so many genres mixed into one. What can I say? It's System.
Lyrics — 10
Again, more political lyrics ("BYOB," "Sad Statue," "Violent Pornography"), pointless but hilarious gibberish (TCMMFLIOTS, "Cigaro"), and deeper, more meaningful lyrics ("Question!", "Lost In Hollywood"). The lyrics are very good; a different style from those on Toxicity, so it's hard to compare them. The band's moving in a new direction and that's obvious. But it's a good one.
Overall Impression — 10
Does it compare to other artists? There is no comparison. The band is so unique and amazing. There is simply no competition. 01. Soldier Side (Intro) - a nice intro song, only OK until you hear the song Soldier Side from Hypnotize. Then it makes sense. Ties the albums together well. 02. BYOB - insane yet meaningful, heavy yet catchy. Powerful guitars and violent screaming work together perfectly, as do the lighter guitars and amazing melodies and harmonies. 03. Revenga - not many people will agree with me on this, but IMO, it's one of the best on the CD. Possibly the best. The intro is cool and then the riff is charging and powerful; the verse is funny and lightning-paced. The chorus is good, better than the verses, and catchy; the bridge, though, is the best part. "I saw her laugh, then she said, go away." The song's actually about a guy being rejected by a girl and wanting revenge. Great music, great lyrics, great song. 04. Cigaro - one of the weaker tracks of the album, still damn good. Again, Daron proves his genius on guitar. Funny too. 05. Radio/Video - good at first, but starts to seem repetitive. You can hear many other influences in this song than what you hear on their debut. It's amazing how much the band has expanded. Like BYOB, massive tempo and dynamic changes. 06. This Cocaine Makes Me Feel Like I'm On This Song - the title says it all. Almost sounds like it belongs on both Mezmerize and their self-titled. Not top-caliber, but close. Too short, too random. But this is System Of A Down we're talking about. What does one expect of a song with a title like this? 07. Violent Pornography - cool verse, good bridge, creative riffs. The verse is just so damn catchy! Good message too. "F--k! Turn off your TV! Can you say brainwashing? 08. Question! - it took me a while to get into this song, but now I'm addicted. Creative riffs, especially with the time signature changes (9/16 to 5/4 to 4/4 to 3/4, if you're as confused as I was). The chorus is, well, beautiful. Another possible best. 09. Sad Statue - cool riff, good lyrics. Almost middle eastern sounding at times. Another possible winner. 10. Old School Hollywood - synths + guitar + random lyrics about baseball + Daron = System? Since when? It's still an OK song, but my least favorite on the album. It's and interesting transition in the album, but it works. 11. Lost In Hollywood - the first system song I ever learned. Long and sad, at times beautiful. The slow moaning intro is so amazing. Long but worth the time, by far. Tied for 1st. What do you love about it? Everything, of course! Hate? Nothing! Maybe too short, but it's a double album so that's OK. If it were stolen? I guard it with my life, so if someone managed to steal it without my knowing, I'd praise their deviousness, and then burn the backup files on my computer back onto a disc. And if anyone tried to take it by force, I keep a gun in my room. The first time I ever heard System of a Down, my friend (a die-hard fan) played me this album. In the first ten minutes (Soldier Side Intro, BYOB, and Revenga), I was utterly mesmerized. That very day I ran out and bought all of their other albums (except for Hypnotize, which hadn't been released yet). And they haven't disappointed yet!