Saturday, July 14, 2012

A Flawed Gem: P.O.D.'s Murdered Love

Sometimes things happen in music which test your consistency. A few months ago I reviewed Thrift Store Jesus by Heath McNease. My less than stellar review of the album even provoked a reaction by Mr. McNease. One of the problems I had with the album was his use of "Freaking", which is the Christian Euphemisms for the other F-Word. I had other problems, which he addressed, but I was disturbed by the use of the word nonetheless. I was not however, offended, which he kept alleging.

I'm not what would consider puritanical. I couldn't be, I'm not a liberal. My problem with the F-Word these days is not because it's offensive or profane. The shock value has long since passed. Today it is just sloppy English. In my opinion there are many other words which can replace it.

This brings me to Murdered Love by Christian Hard Band P.O.D. (The initials stand for Payable on Death). In what seems like a long tradition of Controversy in Christian Music, the album has recently taken the brass ring it would seem. First was the cover. I see a mushroom cloud in the background. In the foreground is either two aliens, one dead (X on the eyes) or humans in gas masks/chemical suits. Either way, I don't see what about the cover almost got them a Parental Advisory label.

The Big Problem with the album is the final song on the album, at least on the General Market edition. The title of the song is I Am, and it contains the F-Word multiple times, though in a muted/bleeped fashion in all you can make out if "fk" on sound. In order for the album to be sold in Christian Bookstores, the song was dropped in a "Christian Release". Personally, I'm not sure what to make of special releases for certain ears. I have yet to see a Parental Advisory on Evanescence, and at the same time I can't remember when I didn't see one on a Katy Perry album. My point is that both started out as "Christian Artists" (Perry recorded as Katy Hudson), and while I still consider Evanescence "Christian" by my taste, Amy Lee proves you can have a successful crossover appeal and never have to make the RIAA nervous. I think it only fair for you to get to experience two of the non controversial tracks (10 of 11). Courtesy of Soundcloud is Eyez and Lost In Forever Higher is destined to get repeat airplay on Christian and Mainstream Radio. Even though Eyez was originally the song released for distribution, that would be rock. The harmonies on Higher are amazing. Personally, this is their best since Satellite.

If you're even remotely knowledgeable about P.O.D., you know this isn't your Happy Happy Band. They deal with the tough situations in life in blatant language. Nobody ever said they were easy to listen to. My final rating 4.5 Emeralds. You could say P.O.D. is back, but it is a solid album, but not their best. I also would recommend you buy the original version. If you are of delicate sensibilities, maybe P.O.D. isn't your style anyway. Until next time, feel free to comment, for I am always Awaiting Your Reply.