A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
On HYPNOTIZE, System of a Down once again delivers strong, elegant, and innovative music that stretches the definition of rock & roll. Jumping from one unrelated rhythmic and harmonic idea to another is the band's trademark, along with a highly developed political consciousness expressed via gleefully shouted obscenities. Lyrical content will be troublesome for some parents, as these guys do not shy away from strong language or visceral imagery, but they use the power of taboo words to make vivid points about politics, drug abuse, socio-economic issues, and sexism. It's also a sure bet that shouting those words at full volume into a microphone is a WHOLE lot of fun...which is why we don't recommend this CD for kids and young teens.
Is it any good?
Fans will not be disappointed in songs like "U-Fig," which veers wildly back and forth between folk-rock guitar riffs and punk-rock screaming. Somehow, the rhythm section keeps up -- Shavo Odadjian and John Dolmayian hold the fort on bass and drums, providing the glue that holds these erratic and interesting arrangements together. Daron Malakian, credited with writing (or co-writing) all of the music and most of the lyrics, continues to grow more stylistically diverse, employing Middle Eastern/South Asian harmonic styles and rhythms influenced by music from all over the world. Everyone delivers exceptional performances, and the album maintains its passionate energy from beginning to end.