Sound — 10
Wow! I'm very impressed with System on this new album. They have this new melodic/harmonixc style with vocals and guitars. They even incorporate their keyboards into their songs (Old School Hollywood) The intro - it has somewhat of a depressing and spooky feeling, but then they kick into the fast-paced Byob, which revolve around the phrase "Why do they always send the poor?" It pretty much can have an up-down feeling throughout the whole album. Two things I noticed in particular though about their new sound. One, they use alot of middle-eastern inspired melody and harmony. And second Daron Malakian, secondary vocals and guitars, sings alot more in this album. He really gives "Lost In Hollywood" a strange, but cool feeling. Almost similar to the feeling of Aerials.
Lyrics — 10
System's lyrics, as always strange, politcal, and sometimes funny, are smoewhat along the tracks of how their lyrics have been turning, more meaningful and metaphoric rather than just a straight message. All songs of SOAD's have meanings, (even if they seem like they just slapped some stuff down that rhymed) Although I question some of the song's lyrics (such as This Cocaine Makes Me Feel Like I'm On This Song and Radio/Video) they are all really awesome.
Overall Impression — 10
This album has somewhat of a different impression than the earlier albums, but still quiet System-ish. You can always relate this album to Toxicity, and say something like, "Hey, this kinda sounds and gives you a feelin to Aerials, Chop Suey!, Toxictity, (etc. )" But yet it sounds somewhat different. The songs thay I liked the most were "Violent Pornogrpahy," "Cigaro" and "Lost In Hollywood". I believe they did their best jobs on these songs. I really liked how Daron has gotten more involved in the vocals. He is a really great singer! If there was one thing I could say that I hated, it would be the amount of songs. But I guess that's ok because this is the first half of a double album (Mesmerize/Hypnotize). If something happened to this CD as to where, I couldn't listen to it (lost or stolen) I'd definetly buy a new one.