Reviewed! Hollywood Undead - American Tragedy
|Purchase - American Tragedy|
For Hollywood Undead, what a difference one album cycle makes. With the release of the bands sophomore album American Tragedy, they find themselves with a new lead singer in Danny Murillo, aka Danny, who steps into the shoes of the departing Aron “Deuce” Erlichman, and quite frankly, does a more than admirable job handling lead vocal duties. From the opening bars of “Been to Hell,” one of the bands best cuts to date, it is easy to see that Hollywood Undead have only gotten better since the last time we saw them on 2008’s Swan Song, though everything doesn’t quite come up roses for the band as you’ll find out upon further listening of American Tragedy. Another highlight of the record is the single, “Hear Me Now,” which is another perfect example of the bands keen ear for over-the-top melody and strong use of call-and-response hooks, though the other two singles, “Coming Back Down” and “Comin’ in Hot” do very well for themselves, and should find their way onto more than a handful of mixtapes.
As was the problem with Swan Songs, there is an unfortunate side to American Tragedy, the fact that it is far from a consistent record. A number of the songs here bleed into one another, making it hard for the casual listener to be able to discern one from the other. Also, while the overall tone and feel of American Tragedy seems to be different – a bit darker and more serious – the undertones are the same as they’ve always been. The songwriting is still substandard and the lyrics mostly trite and disposable, though most people popping this CD in and cranking the bass to 11 probably won’t care too much.
Regardless, American Tragedy can be an enjoyable experience, but bear in mind it isn’t a record without its shortcomings, which mostly come off as cliché. In the end, the good songs are good, but the bad songs are bad, plain and simple.