'Mezmerize', is part of a two CD. Disc One of the 2-disc set 'Mezmerize/Hypnotize'. Disc Two, 'Hypnotize', is expected to be released late this fall. "B.Y.O.B.," the first single from the new album, is already a Top 10 track at Rock/Alternative radio. Columbia. 2005.
Four CD's and nearly ten years into their career, System of a Down continue to be the Gilbert and Sullivan of this generation, delivering razor-sharp political commentary via beautiful, quirky melodies and discordant harmonies.
The group has mastered the ability to be both successful and subversive--with 2001's Toxicity selling over six million copies and debuting at number one on the Billboard charts, their success in indisputable. As far are their subversive-ness, the lyrical content on Mezmerize is a solid stream of anti-war, anti-corporate and anti-celebrity sentiment. The disc's first single proves as beautifully schizophrenic as anything the band has released. "B.Y.O.B." opens with guitarist Daron Malakian's rapid-fire riff, then frontman Serj Tankian's anti-war screams of "Why do they always send the poor?"; less than a minute later, a nearly-surreal jump to a facetiously perky, beach party chorus that could easily be found on a Britney or Justin record: "Everybody's going to the party/have a real good time." Guitarist/co-songwriter Malakian takes increased vocal time on the disc, including the hilarious, size-obsessed "Cigaro" and celeb-slapping "Radio/Video". Witticism aside, musical and lyrical intensity peaks with the operatic "Question!" and the emotional piledriver that is "Sad Statue", the group¹s unflinching statement on war and Lady Liberty.
The only shortcoming of Mezmerize is, quite simply, that it is short. Clocking in at a mere 38 minutes, the reason given is that this release is one-half of a two CD set--with part 2, Hypnotize, expected in late fall 2005. --Denise Sheppard