Serj Tankian

Imperfect Harmonies

Written by: PP on 30/11/2010 03:51:26

Oh my, what on earth appened to Serj Tankian here? I certainly hope his sophomore solo album "Imperfect Harmonies" is no indication of things to come from System Of A Down, because then we'll all be cursing his name come this time next year, when they have presumably released their comeback album after the re-union tour. Some of you may remember his debut album "Elect The Dead" from three years ago, which was essentially SOAD minus the band, but still frantic and full of Armenian cultural influences embedded within the music. It was a pretty awesome record which left Scars On Broadway in its shadow in many ways, but none of that applies here. You see, Mr. Tankian has been deranged with the disease known as superstar megalomania, roughly translating into the false belief 'everything bigger better than everything else', to twist the famous Motörhead quote a little.

In practice, that translates into quiet, introspective songs that could arguably be described as ballads, except some douche has decided to secrelty sit a million-man symphonic orchestra behind him to play meaningless background harmonies that sound epically massive and monumental on paper, but in reality result into bland songs that don't really know whether they want to be ballads or power-symphonies. The first two tracks show some of the aggressive and explosive vocal delivery that made so many fall in love with SOAD, but for the rest of the album, Serj is content at singing in quieter, more relaxed tones, most likely fulfilling some weird artistic desire of his. The problem is, his desire does not manifest in good songs, at all. I seldom feel the need to force myself go through a record a few times to write a decent enough review on it even if I'm not a fan, but this is definitely one of those times. Each time I reach the halfway point of "Imperfect Harmonies" I find energy draining away from me and yawns appearing in constant stream. The songs just aren't at all what we want from Serj, who owns such an impeccably unique voice that it's a great shame it has to be wasted with meaningless songs such as these. A track like "Beatus" is one of the most nothingsaying ones on record, listen to that for an example of just what the hell is going happening on this record, but I could save you the trouble and just tell you nothing's actually going on. It's just random symphonies/piano melodies cut-and-pasted on top of boring and bland songs that do nothing to salvage this from mediocrity.

I wish I could at least call "Imperfect Harmonies" generic, but with Tankian's vocals and his way of integrating some of his cultural background to his songwriting makes that impossible. Instead, I'm content at just calling this a boring, bland, unnecessary record that's full of filler. Just because it sounds big and massive doesn't necessarily make it good is what I say very, very often as you all know, and this is a key example why. Someone needs to grab Serj by the shoulders and tell him megalomania doesn't suit him at all, it's time to reutrn back to planet earth.


Download: Disowned inc, Borders Are...
For the fans of: System Of A Down if they went balladic with symphonies
Listen: Myspace

Release date 21.09.2010
Serjical Strike Records / Reprise

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