Elect The Dead
The blueprint for Serj Tankian's debut solo album is simple. He takes the System Of A Down sound and dilutes it to the point that it fits nicely into the mainstream of American rock. Gone is the thrash sections and super-heavy riffage that peppered SOAD songs, as well as the annoyingly nasal backing vocals of Darion Malakian. What we have now are slick, radio-friendly songs, brimming with easy and unremarkable melodies.
As a long-term admirer of SOAD, I have a huge amount of respect for Tankian, and regard him as one of the most accomplished and talented singers in contemporary rock and metal. However, one gets the distinct feeling that he should have used this record to test himself a little more - he is on very safe territory here, and there is nothing that hasn't been at least suggested in SOAD albums. To be fair to Serj, this criticism can be flipped on its head; often first solo albums can be self-indulgent, meandering affairs. This at least is direct and disciplined - fans fearing 'Serj's Armenian Jazz Odyssey' can relax.