Head Automatica
Popaganda


3.5
great

Review

by Ian USER (106 Reviews)
June 28th, 2006 | 23 replies


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist


"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".

'Graduation Day', 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.

Pros:
+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

Cons
-Has nothing on "Decadence"
-Slightly repetitive at times, but rarely

Standout Tracks:
-'Laughing At You'
-'Egyptian Musk'
-'Graduation Day'
-'Scandalous'



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user ratings (146)
Chart.
3.1
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
June 28th 2006


16089 Comments


Why would people think this is heavy because of Palumbo, when the last HA was pretty poppy in and of itself?
Why would this being super poppy ever detract from the music?
Oh, and what I've heard off of this is pretty bad. Considering thats two of the tracks you listed as highlights, I dunno about this album...

Concubine
June 29th 2006


333 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

This album is catchy. That's it.

The Jungler
June 29th 2006


4827 Comments


Good job on the review, I don't like what I've heard off this so far.

(>dragon~guitarist<)
June 29th 2006


243 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

It's a very boring album, maybe even forced. Decadence was much better and enjoyable in many aspects in sound. Hopefully we will see a Glassjaw album after they tour with this album since he has been talking of making one after this album.

Storm In A Teacup
June 29th 2006


13193 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

[quote=]Why would people think this is heavy because of Palumbo, when the last HA was pretty poppy in and of itself?[/quote]Because Daryl is from Glassjaw and some may have not heard of Head Automatica already.[quote=]Why would this being super poppy ever detract from the music?[/quote]I don't think anything being really poppy detracts from an artists music, but some people do.

La Revolucion
June 29th 2006


1060 Comments


All I've heard is the single, and I really can't stand it.

FlawedPerfection
Emeritus
June 29th 2006


2806 Comments


My brother was one of the sound engineers on this album. He came back pissed that Head Automatica produced such an annoying first single.

The Sludge
June 29th 2006


2169 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I didn't think that Graduation Day was that bad. Its ok at first listen.

The Jungler
June 29th 2006


4827 Comments


It's super catchy, that's for sure.

FlawedPerfection
Emeritus
June 29th 2006


2806 Comments


I only heard it once, but I couldn't get over that they had Gerard Way write it so I wasn't listening.

Storm In A Teacup
June 29th 2006


13193 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

He wrote the whole song?

FlawedPerfection
Emeritus
June 29th 2006


2806 Comments


I don't know, but the Comcast Alternative music channel said Head Automatica/Gerard Way as the artist. I think there was some sort of comment on there about him writing it as well. I don't know if it was the whole thing.

Storm In A Teacup
June 29th 2006


13193 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Interesting. I'll have to find out.

Pyramidman
June 29th 2006


1340 Comments


this album would be way better if i had heard this before decadence
but i havent, so while its not rerrible, Decadence is way better IMO

jason_f90
July 14th 2006


203 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

most of the songs are very catchy..my favourite is "lying through your teeth"

Storm In A Teacup
August 30th 2006


13193 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

That's a really good song.

I still dig this quite a bit.

Justanothernimrod
August 30th 2006


478 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

'Decadance' was fantastic, this really isn't.

verry good review though!

trustxdialect
April 1st 2007


1502 Comments


I just busted this out earlier today and damn, I forgot how catchy this can be. I didn't like Palumbo's voice much to begin with but after listening to Glassjaw and then this, he really is a fantastic/talented singer.

As a side-note, I know this is late to the punch but I'm pretty sure the song 'God' is about his fury about being diagnosed with Crohn's disease.

FakeBlood
October 1st 2008


44 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

"Nowhere Fast" was the only track on here that I listen to even semi-regularly. Daryl sounds like a fucking saint though on "Shot in the Back".

StrizzMatik
December 30th 2009


3220 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Really catchy and that's about it.



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