Review Summary: Murdered Love isn't perfect, and it's not quite as good as 1999's Fundamental Elements or 2001's Satellite. But it's definitely a step forward for the band.
P.O.D. struck gold with Satellite
. The September 2001 album launched the band further into the mainstream, and became a huge international hit. Songs like "Alive" and "Satellite" were aggressive instrumentally but had uplifting lyrics that were almost therapeutic for people after the events of 9/11. But the success didn't last long. After replacing their guitarist, releasing several mediocre albums, and a four-year hiatus, the band is back with a great new record. It's called Murdered Love
"Eyez" is an excellent album opener. Jamey Jasta, from Hatebreed, performs background vocals here. They complement Sonny Sandoval's singing nicely. The title track is next, and it also features a special guest - underground rapper Sick Jacken. The chorus gets a bit repetitive with Jacken repeating "The day that they murdered" several times, but nevertheless this is still a solid track.
Singles "Higher" and "Lost in Forever" are good but they sound much too similar to some of the band's other songs. The former is an obvious rehash of "Alive", and "Lost in Forever" sounds like a heavier "Goodbye for Now". Unoriginality is one of Murdered Love
's biggest issues.
Sandoval has always been a decent songwriter. However, "Beautiful" suffers from awful, cheesy lyrics ("No matter what the people say / It's all going to be okay / You're beautiful to me") that remind me too much of that One Direction song sharing a similar name. This is by far the worst (and slowest) track on the album. It doesn't sound anything like P.O.D. Sure, a style change is nice, but I don't think the band should be heading this direction lyrically or musically. The political Japanese bonus track "Find a Way" would've been a fine replacement.
"Babylon the Murderer" makes up for the atrocity that is "Beautiful". This beast of a song has a reggae rock sound that P.O.D. have displayed in some of their other tracks. "Panic & Run" also features this reggae feel, but it's a faster song that would probably chart well as the band's next single. The birds chirping at the beginning are said to be a reference to Chicken Little. This makes sense after hearing the first line of the chorus: "The sky is falling, haven't you heard""
Again with the poor songwriting. While "Bad Boy" is
a fun, catchy track reminiscent of early Red Hot Chili Peppers, it's almost completely ruined by cheesy lyrics. Lines like "And girl, I'm looking for a love that's true / Not just another ho to do" and "I'ma wife you up and make it right / Gonna turn you to a freak tonight" are a little creepy coming from a married Christian man. Definitely one of the album's weaker songs.
The powerful but provocative (at least, to some of the band's more religious fans) track "I Am" closes out the record. This is certainly one of Murdered Love
's highlights. The song has some great lyrics and includes a nice guitar solo, the latter courtesy of Marcos Curiel. "I Am" is one of the band's darkest and heaviest tracks. It ends the album with a bang, and keeps the listener wanting more. In a very good way.
isn't perfect, and it's not quite as good as 1999's Fundamental Elements
or 2001's Satellite
. But it's definitely a step forward for the band. If not for "Beautiful", I might've given the album a higher rating. Check this out whenever you have a chance.