Nu Metal is a decent genre with some interesting bands within it. This is P.O.D.’s finest album, but is it worth hearing in the long run? Let’s give it a shot and see if it is so.
We begin with Set It Off which has some interesting riffs and some rapped lyrics from the start. There are some great sounds and sonic sensibilities here. The chorus has some good screaming in it, and the bridge borrows from Reggae music. “Rise!” is chanted throughout, which is a call chant to those who listen to Nu Metal. Good start to the album.
Next is Alive – Chris Lord-Alge Mix which is a catchy and well delivered piece that is nicely melodic and very good listening. Not bad for Nu Metal music, showcasing some different sounds and talent of P.O.D. The singing and screaming throughout is awesome. An uplifting and interesting listen.
Boom comes next, and has some interesting riffs. The song is more like Rap Metal than anything. The chorus is a crowd chanting piece. “Is that all you got? Take your best shot!” is chanted towards the end. Great song. A simple, melodic and heavy listening experience.
Youth Of The Nation starts with some kids talking in the background, before a thunderous groove and a minor key style progression kicks in. The song is a good one, and relies less on screamed vocals, more on musicality. The piece is very well targeted lyrically especially. The school kids chanting towards the end isn’t necessary, but is a good song regardless. The outro is pretty trippy.
Following is Celestial which is a very short piece, at a minute and a half long. It is an interesting instrumental, but probably not entirely necessary here. Which is a shame.
Up next is Satellite which is an okay sounding piece. The issue with this album is noticeable by this point – it is poorly mixed and produced. Sure, the musicianship is great, but the way these tracks sound is not. This song is different, and has some very nice lyrics in it. A good listen that would have been helped by some better mixing. The singing here is pretty infectious.
Ridiculous (feat. Eek-A-Mouse) which is really awful, a combination of Nu Metal and Reggae that falls flat. This is barely listenable, and is only good if you really love Nu Metal a lot. Otherwise, avoid or skip. Poor effort for a four minute long song. Awful.
The Messenjah comes next, which is much better. It has some loud Metal riffs and some more normal lyrics and musicality to it. This is really wearing out its welcome by this point, this music. There is little decency or musicality in it, and is for a limited audience. Good, but not great. The groove is great, but that’s about it. The outro is pretty intense.
Next is Guitarras de Amor which is a short bridging piece with acoustic guitars and some murmured talking throughout. It’s okay, but still falls short of being great here. Not really worth it, frankly.
Following is Anything Right (feat. Christian of Blindside) is a much better piece than a lot of what came before it. It has some mega drop tuned guitars, a cello section and some very nice melodic singing. It’s an emotional listen, but is a little ruined by the chorus. Still, it is okay, but only okay. Some romanticism is here, too, which is definitely unusual for Nu Metal. More style over substance, however. The screaming towards the end is awful.
Ghetto begins with some clean electric guitar parts and some simple lyrical singing. It’s an improvement over some of the other songs here, but only marginally so. It comes across as a mixed up piece of emotional intensity. Some Nine Inch Nails style screaming is in the chorus. Okay, but only okay.
Masterpiece Conspiracy comes next, and actually has a good riff throughout. It is a good song, likely about politics and power. A good effort, but unfortunately, is in a fairly ordinary album here. Some sound effects are towards the end here, accusing the listener of a multitude of things. Could have been bettered, somehow.
Next is Without Jah, Nuthin’ (feat. H.R.) which is a real joke of a song. What on earth is this supposed to be? It’s a mixture of Thrash Metal and just terrible, terrible music. Avoid at all costs, this is sub par. The Reggae breakdown is definitely not on for a band like this. Don’t listen to this rubbish.
Following is Thinking About Forever which is an improvement, but still, the damage has been done musically on an album like this. This is another melancholy piece that comes across as totally selfish lyrically. The whole album needs a good rethink, and fortunately we are nearly at the end of it here. A nice Spanish style guitar solo is here though. This song drags on towards the end.
Portrait is the last song here, and is no better than what came before it. It may have a more pure Nu Metal feel about it, but is really ordinary and awful. By this point, you can turn off the album and throw it in the bin, if you have a physical copy of it. Regrettable and forgettable.
This is just rubbish, and goes to show that not all Nu Metal, or indeed, Metal bands are capable of great material. This is a strong case in point, the album is definitely not worth your time. Avoid P.O.D. as much as you can.