I feel like a proud parent. Hard rockers P.O.D. have been kickin' up dust in the music business for years, but it wasn't until their 1999 release The Fundamental Elements of Southtown that they have received the attention they deserve. The band has come along way. Straight from the ghetto in San Diego, California, P.O.D. has been bringing love to a dying world since 1992. You can find the band's sweet slammin' hardcore tunes on the likes of even MTV now, as their first new single "Alive" has even hit #1 on the hit video show "TRL" (Total Request Live) recently. These boys have something to say, and with the release of their new album Satellite, they're still spreading the love and representing Christ in a fallen world.
Now when I say I'm a proud parent, don't let that fool you. I can not say I'm a long-time diehard P.O.D. fan. It wasn't until the beginning of last year, even, that I grew to love their groove-laced hardcore-based rock. And fortunately, I can say it was right before a lot of the secular fuss began. I'm proud to find that the guys have not watered down their message in any way, shape, or form, and in some ways seem to hit harder with a message of hope and love in our Savior (who they often refer to as "Jah"). Anyhow, hey-hey the boys are back. Satellite follows the incredible sounds of ...Southtown with a fresh sound that will please some, and depress others.
P.O.D., short for Payable on Death, showcases much musical growth on Satellite, as melodies not just creep in on this release, but seemingly take over and dominate the record. While many fans may find the softer sounds disappointing, P.O.D. will surely be making new fans among those who find the frequent screams of past tunes a turn off. But what I am missing most is the heavy infectious loud rhythms that "Southtown," "Whatever It Takes," "Outkast," "Tribal Warriors," and many other older tunes possessed. Thankfully, though, new songs "Set it Off," "Boom," and to an extent "Alive," "Youth of the Nation," and "Anything Right" accomplish this, but not as frequently as in the band's past. Harmonies rule such tracks as the modern rock tune "Satellite," "Ghetto," and "Thinking About Forever," a song about the death of lead singer Sonny's mother.
I have found myself torn about exactly how I feel towards the style shift of the new record. The CD is excellent, but delivers a much softer musical blow than previous efforts. Of course it is all part of the band's musical evolution, but for fans, it may be too drastic of a change. But again, it's not necessarily a bad one. The softer melodies flat-out work. "Satellite," "Ghetto," and "Thinking About Forever," are superb tracks. Sonny's stretches his vocals for not just raps and rhymes supported by funky beats and sweet guitar riffs, but to harmonize and emit possibly more passion and emotion than he has before.
Satellite is a solid record from one of the most promising rock bands around today. Although it may not live up to the hard-hitting expectations that many fans will have, Satellite still delivers with some well-crafted songs and a message that needs to be heard.- Review date: 9/11/01, written by John DiBiase
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