"Popaganda" is a very fitting title for Head Automatica's latest effort. For one thing, this album is incredibly poppy, even more so than the band's first record. The other thing is that frontman Daryl Palumbo is also the singer of Glassjaw, which would cause most to think that this would be heavier than it is, but it's not at all.
The fact that this is incredibly poppy actually doesn't hurt the quality of "Popaganda". The music is creative still. 'Laughing At You'
is a shoe in for a single. Daryl is at his catchiest and the music behind him is bouncy and upbeat. The guitars thump along with handclapping detectable throughout many parts of the song. It's so upbeat it's hard not to see Daryl having an absolutely huge grin when he sings the parts. 'Nowhere Fast'
continues to press that pop punk still has life in it. The guitars and programming work together to create beautiful music while Daryl marches on singing lines like, "I got away with murder last night in the parking lot. In cold blood I have murdered parts of us that we forgot. The lyrics may not be the best, but are the least important part of "Popaganda".
, the albums first single, is one of the best tracks here mainly because it's incredibly, freakily, utterly, amazingly, remarkably, extremely, and unsurprisingly catchy. The piano followed by acoustic guitar opening is stylishly upbeat, not a feat Head Automatica haven't succeeded in doing before. Gerard Way's backup vocals actually make the song even better. He starts off the chorus of, "Graduation day", every time before Daryl quickly joins him and they create a beautiful harmony together. At times it seems like "Popaganda" isn't even pop punk anymore, but really just straight up pop. 'Scandalous'
is definitely a strict pop song. Daryl surfs on a wave of melody along with amazing backing gang vocals that give the impression of when performing live there are three fat woman together singing swaying back and forth while snapping their fingers. It's truly relaxing.
So is it all laid back? No. 'God'
contains quick riffs from the guitar, fast drumbeats, and frantic singing by Daryl. The song seems to basically interrogate/question God. "I got a question. Let me ask you, can you explain your reasoning to me? It ain't a matter of my hard luck, or bad luck when there's no luck in it for me. I'm not the type of man to hold a grudge against something I can hardly see. But to say that there's a reason for everything makes me doubtful and intrigued to say the least. God, you don't want to answer me. But if you do, you'd better agree. God, you've got the strangest sense of humor. You're too funny to be so heavenly. It's plain to see that Daryl at least questions his religious beliefs if he has any at all and raises a good point.
Those who say the bass doesn't matter in songs haven't heard 'Egyptian Musk'
. The bass moves the song along passively, but still manages to stand out. The use of electronic beats makes the song even more original compared to the rest of "Popaganda" and Daryl's voice contains a slight drawl making this the most memorable song off the record.
"Popaganda" definitely isn't Head Automatica's best, but is sufficient enough for several warranted listens. It's a shame that there is nothing as superb as 'Beating Hearts Baby'
here (a remix of the song is actually on here and it owns), but it doesn't mean it's not bad. The styles of a lot of songs do seem quite similar at times, but the little things make quite a difference when taking an in-depth listen to the album. Some songs scream to be played on MTV and may just earn the band huge success. It has nothing on "Decadence", but still is worth every penny spent.
+Catchy, extremely melodic, catchy
+Songs well written and even though sound the same still have slight differences to keep it from being repetitive
+Nothing is really that bad
-Has nothing on "Decadence"
-Slightly repetitive at times, but rarely
-'Laughing At You'