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I was never a big fan of P.O.D., but I have to admit, their music is infectious. I remember hearing them and seeing them at Ozzfest back in the early 2000's. More specifically, I remember my son being VERY pissed off that he missed seeing them because I wanted to meet Otep. I have to say, the last ten years has either skewed my listening habits or improved the bands output.
"Eyes" kicks this disc off in the right direction. Immediately we are reminded of what happened to rock circa 2000 when rap/rock entered the mainstream. Not that it is bad, just not what rock fans wanted at the time. Somehow these guys pulled it off then and they still pull it off now. "Murdered Love" is another rocker that adds to the bands profile. This track is heavy - from the drums to the bass line. The way the band used the music to assist the lyrics to tell the title story is very effective. "Higher" is a little more rock than the last couple tracks, but not near as heavy. I know that sounds like a contrast, but once you check this disc out, you will understand. "Lost In Forever" is the next song and the first single. This one rocks out without getting to heavy. There is a great mixture of rock and the fusion sound they have become aligned with.
"West Coast Rock Steady" is a fun song that leans to the rap side, but don't be mistaken… the rock track underneath is killer. There are so many different components to this track. I cannot emphasize enough how fun this track is as a fan of music. "Beautiful" really brings the tempo down, but in a great way. Bands from this genre aren't typically known for their ballads, but POD takes a chance and it pays off. "Babylon The Murderer" comes up next and blazes back to the rock trail. The song keeps shifts tempos, but to the benefit of the track and band. This song really helps display the talent here, including a killer guitar solo and some great tempo keeping from the rhythm section. "On Fire" takes me back to that Ozzfest when I heard them. The rap is good; the rock is good. Somehow the song is better than just good. I am instantly reminded of tracks from Crazytown, only better.
"Bad Boy" has a very cool guitar intro that leads into a tune that could very easily be a hit for Red Hot Chili Peppers. Once the whole band kicks in, the song takes on a different flavor from anything else presented here. "Panic & Run" slams the doors open with a great riff and drum sound. The vocals jump in and the song gets tight. It isn't very often when a disc keeps me engaged all the way through. Not that this is a classic, but it is entertaining and shows the growth within the band, even during the writing and recording of this disc. They dip into new music with a hardcore chant in the track that any of today's metal core bands would be proud of. "I Am" takes this disc out. It is a nice recap of the heavier tracks that started the disc off. The heavy rap set against the hard rock guitars, drums, and bass line make this enjoyable.
This is a great disc. If you like POD or did at one time, give them a chance with this one. If you aren't familiar, you may want to be. This will be a sleeper on many year end lists. After checking this out, I want to apologize to Fred for making him miss them back in the day… come to find out, I am a fan of the band too.
by Todd Jolicoeur