Hollywood Undead - Swan Songs
Record Label: OctoScope Music
Release Date: September 2, 2008
Swan Songs is the debut album of rap-rock group Hollywood Undead, a band who became big via MySpace, despite their history as a terrible live act. They are famous for having stage names like "J-Dog" and "Da Kurlzz" and for wearing Slipknot-esque masks on stage. Just from looking at the cover art, I could tell how the album was going to be throughout.
The album begins with the originally titled "Undead," a track with a keyboard riff ripped right from Ozzy's "Crazy Train" and self-proclaimed "lyrical genius" Charlie Scene rapping lines about having sex with girls and trash-talking "haters." It's something you would hear from any rapper in America. The chorus appears in the song too many times, and every line in the verse sounds the same.
The rest of the album is much the same. All the lyrics are about being tough and gangster, something I don't think any of the members know anything about. They are dreadful "musicians", using drum loops and hip-hop/synth riffs, taking six guys to do what any talented band can do with two or three. It also sounds like something even a person who found the songs entertaining would only listen to for about a week before getting bored with it.
"Everywhere I Go" is an especially mediocre track all about scene partying and having sex with girls. It seriously gave me chills when I heard him deliver the line "I punk the pussy like I'm Ashton Kutcher." The line alone is bad, but he screams it like it's the funniest thing he's ever heard. I think what's even funnier is the band decided to title a song "Pimpin'." "Black Dahlia" is a terrible attempt at faking a broken heart, and the choruses of "California" and "Everywhere I Go" have almost identically lyrics about "getting buzzed and staying fucked up."
Throughout the 15 track, made-for-radio-disaster, I managed to find two songs that I liked. "Young" and "City" are the only legitimately passionate and well-produced songs. Both stray away from typical rap lyrics and excessive synth usage. I even enjoy the production on "Young"; the chorus kids singing along on the bridge is a nice touch, and it plays more like a rock song than hip hop. But these two tracks definitely do not bring up the whole album.
All in all, this album represents what is wrong with music today. It sends the wrong message; there is no talent involved; the lyrics are immature and repetitive; there is no creativity involved. Swan Songs combines all the worst aspects of the corporate music industry into an album that twelve year-old kids will love and listen to until the major record labels can put together something even more mainstream and boring.
I hope these really are Hollywood Undead's swan songs.
When HU actually try to be a legitimate band (it's rare), I can deal with them. "Sell Your Soul" has more rock than rap and it's a great song. I've always said HU is the one band that I cannot stand to like, but I do for some reason. I hate that I like them haha.
i agree on young and city, but sell your soul is one of the better ones too. and i actually really like california too (if i ignore the lyrics.. which are lame). this band is definitely one of my guilty pleasures, but even their old stuff has the same theme as this album. it'd be nice to hear something more original..