Hollywood Undead - American Tragedy
by Anthony Roman
(Denver, Colorado, U.S.A)
Hollywood Undead released their first album "Swan Songs" and it was met with mixed reviews and not much critical acclaim, despite the fact that I genuinely loved it. Now they have their sophomore album out "American Tragedy" that has really changed up the formula quite a bit.
1. The opening track on the album is titled "Been to Hell" and is a much different sound than anything on "Swan Songs". The song itself is about people in Hollywood and how terrible life is there, which is odd considering their last album had 2 songs praising their hometown. The song itself is full of guitar rock and mild rap verses. This is also the first time we hear the new chorus singer in the band, Danny (replacing Deuce). I genuinely enjoy this song and it's rock sound despite it's very different than what I've heard before.
2. "Apologize" is a minor rage filled song about how tough the band members are and that they never apologize for the crap they dish out. Another very new sound for the band yet again, this song frankly is not very good. The idea of the song is great yes but I felt it fell flat on it's face during the delivery. One track on the album I don't really give a listen to.
3. "Coming in Hot" is the equivalent to "Everywhere I Go" from "Swan Songs" and is actually not a bad song at all. Focused on partying and getting drunk the sound of the song is similar to the band's older style. Although not really my thing, I'm more into the angst filled pain songs, I did enjoy hearing this track.
4. The 4th song is "My Town" and again strikes up a new sound for the band. However the difference this time is that I really liked it. Talking about basically what the title suggests, rocking around and owning up the town, the song doesn't have a major rock vibe but chills out with a nice chorus and some good raps.
5. "I Don't Wanna Die" is a song I absolutely despise on this album. The concept is simple talking about killing and death but the delivery of the song fails like "Apologize". It stands out as one of the weakest tracks on the album.
6. The clear best track on the album is "Hear Me Now" and oh boy is this a good one. This song sounds much more original Hollywood Undead like but still manages to blend in their new style. The lyrics describe the idea of being abandoned or left out with no place to go but the vocals are incredible as well as the instruments.
7. "Gangsta Sexy". Another track I cannot stand. There isn't much to say about it because I cannot stomach this song at all, sorry to any fans of it.
8. The 8th song is "Glory" and this stands right up beside "Hear Me Now" as the best track on the album. Focused on the idea of how war and murdering is glorified the passionate rapping from "Swan Songs" returns and some nice guitar is implemented. This is one song I listen to very often.
9. "Lights Out" is the next song, believed to be an attack on the former band member Deuce even though there is no confirmation. This song absolutely rocks and adds to the album greatly, with it's blend of light rock, pop, and rap. Although not as good as "Glory" or "Hear Me Now" I do enjoy this track.
10. Yet another amazing track follows the 9th with this one being "Coming Back Down". Although this sounds nothing like anything Hollywood Undead has ever done the song is more filled with beauty and peace describing death and what it is like to lose people to it. It stands out strictly for sounding like something brand new, and also sounding brilliant as well.
11. "Bullet" is similar to "Coming Back Down" in that it drives a new style forward. The entire song is indie rock as the band members sing about suicide. And I mean not hinting at it, but flat out talking about ways to do it. Yet it has such a happy upbeat tune, making it a very artistic song with such a contrast. I love "Bullet" and it is one of my favorite tracks on the album.
12. The 12th song is "Levitate". This song sounds much more techno oriented than anything else yet to be honest I thoroughly enjoy listening to it. The meaning is very open to interpretation even though I like to believe it is about magic and witchcraft and what that does to the world. The song has some good raps and a nice chorus and despite sounding like a club song delivers the goods very nicely.
13. "Pour Me" is in my opinion the sequel to "The Diary" from "Swan Songs". About alcoholism and struggling with depression from it this song stands out to me as one of the most passionate on the album, which it could be argued very few others are. This song does sound whiny to a degree but it is toned down, making a more popular suicide invoking track.
14. "Tendencies" is the final track of the album and one of the best. Again it continues the trend of not sounding like "Swan Songs" at all but takes on a hard rock sound mixed with rage filled lyrics. Similar to "Undead" this song is all about being a tough dude who can take anyone on. And it works well for this song.
Overall, there's a few things I gotta say. I genuinely enjoyed this album, I felt that even though it was a new direction for Hollywood Undead they deserve the props for attempting it. But, it is nowhere near as good as "Swan Songs" it does have some great tracks that are better than some one their first album, but standing face to face it loses out for me.
Simply on the fact that I could not feel nearly as much heart and passion in this album. "Swan Songs" felt more real and intense when they rapped and sang about anything whether it was drugs to religion. But this album can't do that for me nearly as well.
So in my opinion it applies to a broader variety of people and is a continuation of the amazing Hollywood Undead story, but does not stand above "Swan Songs." This album gets 4 out of 5 stars.
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About The Writer
My name is Andrew Muller. I love creative art, music, television shows, movies, video games, and a good story.
If you had to find me somewhere, you would probably find me down at O'neils home cooking eating an organic sweet-potato bun breakfast sandwich with ham.
Among my friends, it's a "Muller Classic Move" to eat Mcdonald's at 2am because it's cheap and open 24/7. The joke here is that I'm an idiot.
I play drums, guitar, piano, and I write & perform music for My Goal Is Telepathy. Take a listen to the latest sound here.