May 4, 2010

Drowning Pool Self-Titled Album Review

Artist: Drowning Pool
Album: Drowning Pool
Release Date: April 27, 2010
Tracks: 11
Runtime: 39:35

Track Rundown:
(All ratings out of 5 *'s)

1) "Let The Sin Begin" - A strong 80's hair metal vibe mixed with a little bit of 90's Rob Zombie. It's got a good message, referring to a girl as your heroine and allowing the Sin to Begin. It's a love song for metalheads. There's a little something lacking in the delivery though so I'll give it a 3 3/4 *'s. A pretty strong opening track for the album that engages me to listen further.

2) "Feel Like I Do" - A great song that I actually think is weakened by it's attempt at crowd interaction. "Raise your hands if you feel like I do. Scream aloud if you feel like I do. Bring the hell if you feel like I do." Maybe its just the delivery, but it doesn't grab me or make me want to do anything like he do. The tune is awesome, the verses and most of the chorus is great. This comes close to a totally amazing metal song that is very close to the 5* mark, but I can only give it 4 1/2 *'s.

3) "Turns So Cold" - Ignore the lyrics and you've got a great song. It's heavy, it's hard, it intertwines soft melody with harsh freakout. But the lyrics really aren't great. They're kind of annoyingly mediocre which makes me mad at this song, because it really would be great. 4 *'s.

4) "Regret" - A good consistency in lyrics and tune so that certainly helps this track. It's kind kind of a skateboarding game feel to it at points, or at least some sporting video game soundtrack. 4 1/2 *'s.

5) "Over My Head" - Another track that seems somewhat influenced by 80's hair metal at times but I have to say, puts the last track to shame. I originally gave "Regret" a generous 5 *'s, but this track is a legitimate 5 *'s. They stopped trying to be Soil, they stopped trying to be Drowning Pool, they stopped trying to be some weird modern hybrid between the two and sound like something innovative or at least applicable to 2010. If this doesn't become a single, it's worth youtube-ing or buying the single track of, because I already have a feeling it's going to be the hidden gem of the album that doesn't get the attention it deserves.

6) "All About Me" - I wanted to like this track but after the halfway point I was just hanging my head in monotony. It's like a food that you pop into your mouth and say "this was a really good decision" but then has a terrible aftertaste. Or even mid-during-taste. It was almost like a parody of today's metal but without the humor. 2 *'s, very skippable.

7) "More Than Worthless" - A great song for a movie soundtrack. "I'm down to one last cigarette and maybe no time left" is a great line. From start to finish it paints a great image. While it may not be worthy of driving music on its own merit, given the right media attention this song could be huge. 5 *'s.

8) "Children of the Gun" - There is a place for this track, and I will tell you where. It's lyrical allusions to violence and war, it's heavy sound... it has a home. That home is in the soundtrack to the film The Expendables. Take a look at this movie and tell me it doesn't belong here! 5 *'s.

9) "Alcohol Blind" - It's very reminiscent of "Baker Street" by Gerry Rafferty, minus the epic saxamaphoning. It's soft and melodic and a little sad. I'm not sure there's always a call for this kind of track though. It feels a little dull so I can only give it a medicore 3 *'s. Maybe skippable, maybe not. I can see the appeal, but it's not a track for me.

10) "Horns Up" - Where "Feel Like I Do" failed at crowd interaction, I could get behind this song a lot more. I was confused what the title meant at first but as I heard the calls to "raise your horns up", the singer is urging fans to raise the universal heavy metal double-horns salute. And guitar and vocally, this track is definitely worthy of saluting with such. It utlizies the rise up, the drop-off, the solos; this is another track that if it isn't utilized, is certainly worth checking out because it has a hidden gem quality to it. 5 *'s.

11) "King Zero" - A pretty good tune but really suffers from lyrics. "I am who I am, King Zero, King Zero." It might just be the delivery but it feels very Popeye The Sailor-Man. Not a terrible closer to the album but really, not the best. 2 3/4 *'s - skippable for most, but some may like it.

My Highlights:
"Over My Head", "More Than Worthless", "Children of the Gun" and "Horns Up". With any luck, at least one of these will become radio singles or movie/video game soundtrack hits.

Overall Rating:
Averaging up all of the track ratings, the final score comes to an even 4 *'s out of 5. Originally I was planning on subtracting brownie points from this album due to the lack of real strength of the singles and the majority of the first half of the album, but I'm not going to. While the wrong tracks are getting the main focus of the album, this has some really great songs on it and I would suggest it to anyone who's looking to get into modern day metal, or anyone who likes Soil or Disturbed. If you're a die-hard Drowning Pool fan, you should really keep an open mind listening to this album, because there will only be one "Bodies" track in Drowning Pool history, and it came and went. The world's going to keep turning.

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