By Crystal Lee – 4.5/5 Dragons
It’s no secret that I am a Pop Evil fan and of course, when the new album comes out I am on top of it and their Self Titled album was no different.
I was already excited when I heard “Walking the Lions” and fell in love with the track. The lyrics are inspiring and with heavy guitars with a mix of a chorus that is smooth and strong then back to heavy guitars so in my opinion was the best track of the album and true to the Pop Evil sound. The line alone “I’m waking the lions in me” then add in lyrics like, “I want to stand up 100 feet tall / ‘Cause fear will never lead my way / I’m ready to run 100 miles strong / I will never be the same,” it’s pure motivation. That’s one of the reasons I listen to the band its rock music that gets you up and out of whatever your going through or pushes you that one more step with things which is amazing.
Pop Evil did touch on politics and social commentary which personally I would like something to be free of that lately but “Colors Bleed” is not bad and a powerhouse of strength. The album then leads into “Ex Machina”, and “Art of War”, which are more social commentary songs. Overall they are meant to get us thinking and wonder where we are going as a society. Which you can really see in the music video “Colors Bleed” as we see we are being put against each other and we need to stop the divides.
The album has 2 sides – the first half was distorted heavy distorted guitars especially in “Colors Bleed” and “Ex Machina,” and the second half lighter, smooth and more vocally focused.
Highlights on the second half are “Crime to Remember” “When We Were Young” “Rewind” which are full of emotion and, smooth sounds.
Personally this half of the album “A Crime to Remember” I fell in love with as the guitar, keys, and drums were at just the right level for more spoken singing by Leigh Kakaty. Why I love that song is that we all have had “A Crime to Remember” with the lyrics “what is broken apart won’t go back together”
The biggest difference one you may not hear is the addition of drummer Hayley Cramer which you can see in the music video for the track “Waking Lions”. As a fan, you always fear change and this was a wasted fear as she fits perfectly with the band in sound and performance wise. They had big shoes to fill and they did. Definitely, a music video to check out.
Overall yes, this album has political and social undertones but they keep it an album that can be taken many different ways for listeners. This album is done in the way to be effective and thus people will listen; something we all need to do more of. I was taught for music to be a hit it has to be relatable and Pop Evil are masters of that. So this album may have its own message but take a listen and you will find your own thus my favorite tracks may not be others so like every Pop Evil album you need to listen to beginning to end as there is something for everyone. Still a message we can all take is unity and stop the dividing.