Review Summary: A Mushroomhead album that could very well tarnish their career in the future; it's beyond vague and dry.
If there’s a record that has a corrupt sense of musicianship and some of the most terrible, embarrassing lyrics, then Mushroomhead’s latest atrocity, Beautiful Stories for Ugly Children
is it. Honestly, it’s quite hard to comprehend the fact that this band had a memorable past; they once had a consistent chemistry of records and even singles that dragged them into the mainstream business and gave them an increasing load of fans. XIII
had a staggering number of amazing qualities, and even their often overlooked debut had a few great radio-friendly songs, but what we have with Beautiful Stories for Ugly Children
is one of the worst albums in 2010, and frankly in their catalogue. The reality of this album is only this: they have lost their edge
. While many could obviously disagree with this and toss it aside, it’s almost factual that the band has lost lyrical ideas and even musicianship in general. Essentially, this is where we see Mushroomhead hit rock bottom.
Honestly, it’s very tough to describe this album. One thing for sure is that it’s completely rundown and nothing short of boring, to be somewhat precise. The riffs are as generic as ever and the lyrics don’t assist either, mostly because they both are constantly lazy, unimaginative dull drivel spots with some few here-and-there standout parts, much of which occur only secondly and are minor. On top of the horribly written lyrics and lack of creativity, the replay value is barely worth of salvaging and can/will lose energy incredibly fast. Really though, I’m sure a first-time listener will find enjoyment with this album, which is understandable because it’s very accessible, but if you would compare this album to say, XIII
, you would notice they sound entirely different and lack similarities.
Now, onto the vocalist. The first time I heard this, I had a severely hard time comprehending this was the real vocalist. I couldn’t help but reflect back on the times when his voice was stronger than ever, had an emotional sprinkle, and made the music powerful and stranger. Now though, it’s nothing short of agonizing and sigh-invoking. Just like with a lot of bands, after a relevantly lengthy time period, it can only be apparent that your voice could dwindle and lose the flavor it used to. That right there is what has happened with him and the album as a whole; and honestly, I see an atrocious forecast for him in the future, which is quite sad. Really though, I’m just spitting out words, but ultimately the vocalist sounding exhausted and uninterested.
The album opens with ‘Come Here’, which is a perfect example of how the vocalist and lyrics are both insipid. Honestly, if it wasn’t for the overly generic lyrics that are supposed to “pump you up” (you know with lyrics such as “Do you really want to *** with me, do you really want to *** with me tonight
"”), then the song wouldn’t be nearly as crummy. Sadly though, these are well over half of what the lyrical delivery consists of, which I’m sure won’t please the average metalhead or people in general.
‘The Harm You Do’ is an industrial metal styled ballad, and is surprisingly a moderately okay song, minus the bland guitars and predictable musicianship. They even include samples with the song and most of the album, but that doesn’t account to the fact that this album is beyond terrible and a degrading piece of work from the band. The vocal harmonies and patterns also take a turn for themselves in the wrong direction, much through the album. Instead of being exciting and energizing, they are predictable and stylistically boring. There’s hardly anything worth listening to over with this album and is generic.
Somehow or another, I’m sure there will be people who enjoy this, which is incredibly shocking, in all honesty. The choruses are even repetitive and boring, which is something odd for Mushroomhead because they’ve always been strong in that area. Don’t waste your money on this album, it’s safe to say they have hit a bad point with their career and I’m not sure if they’ll recover. Hopefully though with their next installment, if they even decide to make one, will be more proficient and have more playability. Luckily though, their other albums were all excellent so that’s definitely something to admire with the band.