Review Summary: Taken in the right context, this album succeeds in unexpected ways
Aaaah Brokencyde.... You love them or you hate them. Sadly, most people seem to tend towards the latter rather than the former. They are shunned by the musical “elite” the same way Converge would be shunned at a 12 year old girl’s birthday party... and it is just as unwarranted.
Now what is Brokencyde doing? By now I’m sure everyone has at least heard of their original blend of genres like scream, hip hop and electronic. Many will just dismiss them as money grabbers trying to combine a slew of popular genres to get rich quick. These accusations are only half true. Yes, the band did pick out of the most popular genres and mashed them together. But I believe they were driving towards a much more noble goal. That to have a type of music that could unite the scene kids, the gangster kids, etc and open them up to new possibilities. How else will the preppy, popular click get into screaming and possibly heavier types of music? It isn’t through that pasty nerd kid that obviously spends all his time in his basement downloading albums and rarely taking a break to shower. They need to be eased into it, preferably using a type of music they are familiar with and that’s what Brokencyde does.
So other than possibly becoming one of the most influential bands of our century, what does the band bring to the table musically? Let’s get this out of the way early, the lyrics are horrid. But keep in mind the crowd they are attempting to reach. They aren’t writing for the educated classical listener, the seasoned metalhead or the indie hipster. They are aimed towards the libido driven, rebellious mentality of the high school teenager. So in that sense, the band does manage to come up with cheap juvenile lyrics about partying/sex/drugs/etc that will please their audience although most definitely leaving room for improvement (they’re no Lady Gaga).
Musically, the album isn’t as bad as it gets credit for. The synth lines are extremely catchy. Booty Call features a main beat played in a minor key that gives the song a pleasant darker tinge that is the perfect soundtrack to any late night fun. Get Crunk and Jealousy both feature a more upbeat feel that could easily become the soundtracks to high school parties. The rest of the album features variations on these and also some songs that have a stronger hip hop feel to them. The screams that are thrown in are what truly make this band interesting above all their peers. At times they add an emotional intensity to some songs (Jealousy) that isn’t usually present in the electro-hop sounds. At others they are mixxxxed right into the beat to create an original new twist on an old sound. I must commend the band for their daring, the sound could’ve easily found itself dismissed by the scenesters for being too poppy and dismissed by the hip hop crowd for being too heavy. But by intelligently combining each part of their sound into their songs, the band has found a stable balance that seems to be working for them and might have just made themselves into the first stepping stone that can get one simultaneously into hip hop, electronic, screamo and metal.
Brokencyde aren’t a band for the seasoned music enthusiast. It is important to keep that in mind when one hears them and judges them. What they are here to do is provide a sound that can be enjoyed by the teenager that just wants to have fun and doesn’t really care much about anything yet (cause they need music too and someone has to provide it to them). But while doing this, Brokencyde makes themselves into an effective stepping stone that might help these kids discover new things and maybe one day become a musical enthusiast.