Review Summary: "If you're not turned onto politics, politics will turn on you"
The politically charged foursome (don't get dirty minded here) third album, in my opinion, was the best. Their debut, self titled ' Rage Against the Machine', had Zack de la Rocha attempting to bark to bark the words, and attempting to sing, which miraculously worked. Their second album, a darker themed 'Evil Empire' involved more rapping and Tom Morello making his guitar sound like anything but a guitar, which worked aswell. This album explores Zacks lyrical performance as a rapper and Singer, Tom Morellos' now distinctive guitar work and Tim Crommerfords home made wah pedal, slotting in nicely with Brad Wicks drumming.
Testify - A fantastic opening.It begins with a wind effect from Toms guitar, before exploding into the main riff, seducing the listener into hearing Zack's poetic lyrics. He tells the listener about how easily the media and politicians corrupt everyone's minds, and that the only weakness of theirs is to 'Testify'.
My rating - 5/5.
Guerilla Radio - Starting up with the snare battering, the bass picking and the guitar gradually building up into a crescendo, which transformed intointo a rip roaring riff, before The wah kicks in with zack, and the bass plucking ant the end of each line Zack raps. It portrays a war between who stuuf 'The banks and the party ranks' with money, either 'Gore or the son of a drug lord' zack points out. It then tells about Mumia guan, an American who was accused of shooting a police officer, to be set free. It proceeds with Tom's guitar solo, which sounds like a harmonica, which is interesting, but soon gets annoying.
My rating - 4.5/5
Calm like a bomb - A true gem on the album. It begins with a quiet bass opening with Zack whispering 'Feel the full blast' before it explodes into a Wah Bass and a guitar sound with a wah and an octave pedal, which Tom morello describes as his signature 'pteridactyl sound'. I like the line, "Tha pulse of the condemned/Sound off Americas demise." I think it means that those people who were convicted of crimes because they posed a threat to the goverenment will control the 'revolution'. When they are provoked and their pulse quickens America will fall.
Mic Check - A slightly dissapointing song, lacking creativity musicwise, but the lyrics are still poetic and true. He portrays rebelling against the U.S. gov. for equallity. Even with all the laws in the world, things will never be truely fair. he wants that for everyone. This song is all about exposing the things that are wrong in Americatoday. The anti-myth rythm rock shocka!
My rating - 3.5/5
Sleep now in the fire - A fully charged, explosive song, with a catchy riff and possibaly the best rally cry I've ever heard. This song of emnity from an extreme liberal reflects his view of American government as intensly conservative. His loss of faith in the system is discernably deeply rooted as he expresses his scrupulous ideals about the misuse of power. It also involves a magical feedback solo from Morello.
My Rating - 6/5 (I simply love this song)
Born of a broken man - Just like 'Calm like a bomb', this song starts quietly before exploding into a riff which almost reflects anger and hate. The song's about Zacks father, Berto, who's life was destroyed by religon. A lot of Berto's early work was related to political issues, which, as a possibillaty, was a catylist for Zacks work attacking the polital system.
My rating 4/5
Born as Ghosts - This songs takes a while to get into at first. It's quite like a hip hop sound, with zacks effortless and flawless rapping. It's about Torture in war, and that if others realise this and act about it, they'll only be met by batons, rubber bullets and CNS gas. It also gives the impression of a Big Brother nation, although everyone seems to be 'orn as ghosts'. Unfortunately, Morello gave this song a solo, which is painful, monotonous and doesn't even deserve on the song, or even a place on the album.
My rating - 3.5/5
Maria - The drone of Toms guitar, which isn't annoying in the slightest, with Tims hip hop bass influenced riff and Brads beats makes the story alive. It's about a woman from mexico forced into working in a sweatshop, and ends up dead due to the abuse from her boss. A very powerful, moving song.
Voice of the voiceless - A song all about Mumia Guan and about the Black Panther movement. A very rap influenced song, and quite soft until the chorus when Zack roars 'We're the voice of the voiceless', meaning they're the ones who pass on the message of the innocent framed of a crime and sentenced to death row.
My Rating - 4/5
New Millenium Homes - My god. This is a part two of voice of the voiceless, only an anti climax. This song lacks all known creativity in music and lyrics, and is just dissapointing material for Rage.
My rating - 2/5
Ashes in the Fall - An excellent song, depicting more corruption, only by religon. Towards the end of the song, it gets peaceful, before erupting into paraniod craziness, which the song also describes.
War within a Breath - A war charged song, the bass and guitar sounding like anything but the original instruments. The song displays the image of a Zapitista rebellion, which happened on a "New years day".
Mr rating - 5/5
No Shelter - A bonus track on Australian and Japaneese CD's of this album. This is a politically charged song released by Rage Against the Machine in 1998 that was featured on the Godzilla soundtrack. It can also be found as a bonus track on the Australian and Japanese release of The Battle of Los Angeles in 1999. The song is about how the mass media distract the public from more important issues in the world and manipulate people's minds. The song discusses consumerism and criticizes the feigned rebelliousness of teenaged consumerism, mentioning Nike and Coca-Cola particularly. Its central theme, however, is media control over public sentiment.
This album is the 3rd of only 4 studio albums that rage have done, but probably the most effective in delivering the message about Corperate America, Imperialism, Capitalism and a list of other injustices of the once suposed 'Land of the free'
Guitar sound Mastery
Lack of creativity at points
The centeral theme is very repetitive