Pop Evil - "War Of Angels" (CD)
"War Of Angels" track listing:
1. Last Man Standing
3. Broken & Betrayed
4. Monster You Made
5. Let It Go
6. Boss's Daughter
7. Daisy Chain
9. Black & Blue
10. Next Life
Reviewed by EdgeoftheWorld on September 19, 2011
The ratio of pop to evil on Pop Evil's "War Of Angels" is a bit high. The end result is an album that has some brilliantly bruising and gritty moments, but may come off a bit too glossy for some.
The disc kicks off well, with the attitude-laden "Last Man Standing," which benefits from an excellent chorus and some solid, if not exactly flashy ax-work from Dave Grahs and Tony Greve. The next track, "Epitaph," continues the aggression, adding in an excellent solo.
The single "Monster You Made," with its blend of acoustic and electric guitars and excellent vocals from Leigh Kakaty is one of the high points of the album, blending pop songwriting with some more insightful lyrics.
Unfortunately, that's when things start to get a little too radio-friendly, with the soundalike "Let It Go" immediately following "Monster." "Purple" and the see-you-in-the-afterlife "Next Life" also flirt with ballad territory, with a frankly syrupy quality that seems out of place next to rockers like "Boss's Daughter" and "Daisy Chain."
Still, the band does manage to balance its sound toward the end of the disc, with "Black & Blue," which balances its big plaintive gang choruses with some excellent riffing.
Production-wise, it's hard to quibble too much, although little moments like an electronic tweak to Kakaty's voice during a portion of "Last Man Standing" seem a bit forced.
When Pop Evil is rocking, the band creates some powerful moments, but the band hasn't quite mastered the balance of grit and gloss on "War Of Angels." The result is an off-balance album that's a little too dependent on balladry.
Highs: "Last Man Standing," "Epitaph" and "Monster You Made."
Lows: "Purple" and "Let It Go."
Bottom line: Some bruising moments liven things up, but the album's too dependent on balladry.
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