Serj Tankian- Imperfect Harmonies
Record Label: Serjical Strike
Release Date: September 21st, 2010
I remember pretty vividly way back in 2006 when the internet informed me that System of a Down were taking a break. I was pretty upset that these guys who I knew so well wanted to go home and chill out with their families. Why would they leave me? After all, I put in so much effort to be a fan boy for them. I had the posters, the complete discography and even a t-shirt showing off their Armenian little faces. I wanted them to take my money, which they had gladly done up until that point. It’s over four years later since their August 13th announcement and still nothing. Thanks a lot Serj, Daron, Shavo and John.
But here is Serj Tankian returning with his second solo effort. Well it’s technically his third as in-between Elect the Dead and Imperfect Harmonies he lumped out an orchestral rendition of the aforementioned debut. And he sure comes back with a bang. But sadly the bang is a self produced one, as the listener is quickly forced the throw the compact disk away from them within a short time of listening to it. The tracks presented here are not music. They are political noise. The melodies are no longer accessible, the vocals grate harder than cheese on Arnold Schwarzenegger’s former abs and the biggest sin of all; talented orchestral work is wasted on lazy and over produced tracking. The newly sampled avant-garde jazz fusion rock gets very messy, very quickly.
First single “Borders Are...” is a stand out track amongst the fuzz ingrained tunes due to its easily quotable lines “Fear is the cause of separation/Backed with illicit conversations/Procured by constant condemnations/National blood-painted persuasions”. Sorry, what? Armenian folk influences seep into third track “Deserving?” and you may even start to dance along with your shoulders if you play it enough times. On “Yes, It’s Genocide”, genocide never sounded this awful. "Left of Center" is by the far the most similar to his first album and is definately a head mover. This collection of songs does not so much as gather dust, but instead absorb confetti. The piano ballads are still there, but now they have violins to string them along. The main problem is it mostly just sounds pretentious. The man clearly has an insight into a greater cause in life, but he just cannot fully convey to a disillusioned world how we can get there too.
Tankian however did not make this album for the masses and he wants us to know it; he is now exploring the niche market he hinted towards in his last effort. The reconstruction-deconstructive song styling’s are put together in a post-modernist bubble, a bubble that Serj Tankian hoped he would one day get to show to the world before floating off in. The harmonies are supposed to be imperfect, the lyrics and music constantly clash to show he can pull it off and the show man this time gets to go beyond being a musician, to become a prophetic ring leader. It is a contradictory piece of work, and a small few out there will really get it.
But what do I know; I’m just a rocker in mourning.