Jul 6, 2011

Sick Puppies "Tri-Polar" Album Review

image from Amazon

Artist: Sick Puppies
Album: Tri-Polar
Release Date: July 14, 2009
Tracks: 13
Runtime: 43:51 minutes

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

1) "War" - Used in the commercials for Capcom's Street Fighter IV, it's recognizable, catchy, and makes you want to headbang. It's not subtle or witty, but has all these great production values meaning it's not raw either. It's really well produced, aggressive, and easy to tune out the mediocre lyrics to. A great work-out song. 5 *'s.

2) "I Hate You" - Eek. This one draws such sharp contrasts. The music and the vocalist are excellent. It has all the qualities of a popular song, but the lyrics are just so awful that you can't ignore them. It's almost like this is a song that the music-elitists use to criticize today's music scene. A generous 3 *'s.

3) "Riptide" - This is a cruel band. From this point on, just assume that everything has awful lyrics but great production values and effort by all band members unless I say otherwise. At least this is one you can block out the bad lyrics to. I mean, the lyrics are so ridiculous that it starts off at a completely sentimentality (not the same thing as sentimental) look at social politics? I don't know how else to explain it. But that's only the first verse. Darn it, 5 *'s. It'll be a guilty pleasure song.

4)  "You're Going Down" - The song that first introduced me to the band 2 years ago. Always thought it was a good song, just not a song that would reel me into check out the band. Mass-media apparently liked the song too, because you can find the song as the theme to WWE Extreme Rules 2009, in the game WWE Smackdown vs. RAW 2010, on the soundtrack of the 2010 live-action film adaptation of Tekken, and in the trailer for the film My Soul to Take. 5 *'s.

5) "Odd One" - Kind of repetitive. Not very subtle. In fact, VERY direct and unsubtle in away that hurts the final product. But decent song with an inspirational message, advising not to sweat the small stuff. 3 *'s.

6) "So What I Lied" - Lyrically, one of the best songs on the album. Relatable, real, and gritty. Message is awful, but at least it's relatable and speaks to an audience. Granted, was a sleeper-hit for me. I had to listen to it a few times before I realized I really liked it. 5 *'s.

7) "Survive" - Sweet Kermit The Frog. In this song the band decides to trade for a more modern alt-punk sound rather than their alt-metal/post-grunge sound. Actually relies heavier on the awful lyrics, which makes me want to kick everyone in the band in the face. 1 1/2 *'s.

8) "Should've Known Better" - Not good at all. I don't know what they were thinking in the flow of this song. It's got a decent guitar-solo halfway through, but that's about all this song has going for it. 1 1/2 *'s.

9) "Maybe" - THE reason I got this album. Fell madly in love with this song. It has so much going right for it. It's not an attempt at metal or an attempt at punk. It's just down-to-earth pop-rock. Or rock-pop. I don't know what to call it. It kind of reminds me of Lifehouse, but not one of their sad songs. Either way, 5 *'s.

10) "Don't Walk Away" - A pretty nice song. Much more Lifehouse than Maybe was. Doesn't quite master Lifehouse, but a good attempt in that direction. 3 1/2 *'s.

11) "Master of the Universe" - An interesting song, but not really sure I like it. Some may, but I'm on the fence. I'll go straight for the middle and give it 2 1/2 *'s.

12) "In It For Life" - Kill it. Kill it with fire. 1 *.

13) "White Balloons" - The first half of the song is very slow and melodic, which is a risky move due to the reliance on the lyrics. The lyrics are decent in this song, but what really sells it is the second half when they kick it into rock-mode. 3 3/4 *'s.

My Highlights:
"War", "Riptide", "You're Going Down", "So What I Lied", and "Maybe" are all songs you should check out when making up your mind about the band and whether or not you want to give this album a shot. These are what rose to the top of the barrel. But of those five, seriously, listen to Maybe!

Overall Rating:
Averaging up all the ratings, this album gets a very nice score of 3 1/2 *'s out of 5, or 7 *'s out of 10. Unfortunately, for making me listen to the horrendous, and KTF do I mean horrendous lyrics, I'm using my super-special reviewer big-picture brownie-powers to knock a full 1/2 * off of that original rating. The final score for this album is 3 *'s out of 5, or 6 *'s out of 10.

This album meets the bare minimum of what I suggest people spend their money on, but this isn't an album you play for your friends. Unless you're a teenager and allowed to listen to bad music because it's what's popular, hide this album among your guilty pleasures collection. It will fit in nicely among bands like Seether, Breaking Benjamin, Nickelback, Hinder, Creed, and Shinedown.

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