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 Countdown to Forever! Only In Amerika(2004) review

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Chizase2012
(hed) Souljah
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PostSubject: Countdown to Forever! Only In Amerika(2004) review   Sun Jul 17, 2016 12:34 am

(hed)p.e.-"Only In Amerika"(2004) review

During the Blackout era, (hed) began sharing stages with more mainstream rock acts such as Staind, Godsmack, and most notably co-headlining the Jagermeister Music Tour with Saliva with support from Breaking Benjamin, Stereomud, & Systematic. (hed) also performed at the 2002 Voodoo Music Experience and also began making musical guest appearances on talk shows such as "The Best Damn Sports Show Period" and "The Late Late Show With Craig Kilborn", songs from Blackout were also featured in EA Sports video games. But even with all of this publicity and the album being the band's attempt to go in a more commercial direction, the album still sold poorly and the band also began having problems, original guitarist and co-founder Wes Geer left the band while they were on tour and (hed) then continued to tour as a 5-piece band with only one guitarist and by the end of 2003, original drummer B.C. Vaught left the band along with guitarist Sonny Mayo and at the beginning of 2004, (hed) were dropped from Jive Records. Following this, Jared stated on hedrocks.com that "getting the boot from Jive was the best thing to ever happen to (hed)" and that their next album would be more "nasty" and "hardcore." (hed) then recruited Jackson Benge as their new guitarist and Christopher Hendrich as their new drummer and recorded some demos which could be previewed on hedrocks.com. After a short time with Chris, (hed) would then recruit ex-Otep drummer Mark "Moke" Bistany as their new drummer and would also ink a record deal with successful independent Koch Records. So (hed) are back with a new line-up and a new attitude with their first indie album and fourth album overall "Only In Amerika" with a more hardcore punk approach to the music and the ending result is... quite disappointing honestly and let's find out why as I review this album track-by-track(*not including hidden or bonus tracks*).

1. Foreplay
An intro track to get us "warmed up for the album" and boy, Jared wasn't kidding when he said would be nasty and hardcore, the track features a dirty talking chick and Jared saying as many nasty things as possible. Some fans may like it seeing that it's a departure from the radio friendly tone of "Blackout" but I was one of those fans who was immediately turned off, the track just annoys me.
Rating: 1/5

2. Represent
The first and only single from the album, a hardcore punk influenced rap metal song about Jared's hatred for the music industry and the label pressure from his previous label Jive, it has a catchy and memorable chorus and even if it is not as strong as their previous singles, it's still one of the better songs on the album even if the swearing sounds very forced. I'll give it a generous rating because it is well structured and the first song I heard from this album.
Rating: 4/5

3. The Truth
A hardcore punk track with hip-hop influence, the song talks about Jared's hatred for bands who sell out to the music industry, though I can appreciate the message to this song simply because I have similar feelings for sell-out bands, there is really nothing unique about the music and it makes the band's line-up change very noticeable. But still, one of the better tracks on the album.
Rating: 3.5/5

4. Wake Up
Decent track. A rap metal song where Jared raps about politics with the most immature lyrics, so again, a lot of swearing. While there are some cool things about this song musically, the heavy chorus seems really out of place compared to the hip-hop edge of the verses, the chorus also sounds simply written and is not very original.
Rating: 3/5

5. War
Another punk influenced rap metal track about politics and at this point, I'm starting to grow tired of Jared's over-the-top immature lyrics. So yeah, there are some cool things musically about this track if a little all over the place, but Jared's lyrics and vocals kinda bring it down for me. Average.
Rating: 2.5/5

6. The Box
My personal favorite track on the album, an awesome rap metal track where Jared raps about refusing to be a "slave" to the music industry with a well-done chorus and this time his anger sounds real and not so forced. One of the album's standout tracks for sure.
Rating: 4.5/5

7. CBC
Another song that is decent musically and Jared also has a great vocal range in this song, but I hate the lyrics so much. A fast rap metal song with some of the most forced dirty sex lyrical content I've heard from Jared. A poor track honestly, but Jared's vocal range and the music save it from being terrible.
Rating: 2/5

8. Voices
Another rap metal song that is strong musically and the lyrics about hearing voices in your head in the verses aren't bad but I hate the chorus so much even though Jared does let out a nice growl in it. Overall, this is an average song.
Rating: 2.5/5

9. Raise Hell
One of the most well known songs from the album and it actually is one of the better tracks, a rap metal song with a "f**k the music industry" attitude to it. Lyrics are catchy and memorable, just immature and very repetitive. A fair song overall, just way too repetitive to be a "great" song.
Rating: 3.5/5

10. Amerikan Beauty
One of those tracks that just annoys me, the dirty talking chick from the first track is back to annoy us even more and Jared's immature lyrics and forced flow about having sexual intercourse with an underaged girl in the verses make this song a real turn off for me. I'm also not a fan of the way the song is structured, it's a hip-hop song in the verses that turns into a metal song in the chorus, the chorus just seems really out of place. For me, a poor track.
Rating: 2/5

11. Chicken
Here we go, a nice punk influenced rap metal track that touches on the subject of bullying. Jared's rapping actually flows well with the music in the verses and the lyrics can also be funny at times and plus, Jared's yelling in the chorus is hilarious. One of my favorites on the album and it also features samples from one of my favorite foreign films "City Of God."
Rating: 4.5/5

12. Daydreams
A straight-up punk song which sarcastically tries to come across as a "love song." This song feels really out of place and at this point Jared is starting to come across as obnoxious and not taking his music very seriously, sorry but I just can't stand this track, it just sounds very simply written.
Rating: 1.5/5

13. Not Ded Yet
Well, the good thing is this album ends on a strong note. A short but sweet hardcore punk track that is very well written and has a chorus that is fun to sing along to. Just one of those tracks that makes you want to break stuff and one of my favorites on the album.
Rating: 4.5/5

Overall, this is a very average album for me mainly because (hed) lost their unique sound with this album which made the band's line-up change very noticeable, the absence of original guitarist and co-founder Wes Geer is also very noticeable as I think if he were still in the band, this album would have been much better. What also brings this album down is the immature lyrical content that is just loaded with swearing, I don't mind swearing here and there, but this was really over-the-top and on top of that, the production is horrible at least compared to their previous three albums. But in the end, I think Jared was just trying to prove a point, which was that he was on an independent label now and with that, he can now say whatever he wants having grown angry with how Jive pressured him to change up his lyrical content. One of the only (hed) albums I was disappointed with, it's not horrible, just mediocre.

OVERALL RATING: 5/10
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Chizase2012
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PostSubject: Re: Countdown to Forever! Only In Amerika(2004) review   Sun Jul 17, 2016 12:37 am

please don't hate me for giving this album a mediocre rating, as i know there are people who like it, it's just always been one of my least favorite albums.
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PostSubject: Re: Countdown to Forever! Only In Amerika(2004) review   Sun Jul 17, 2016 9:05 am

Haha, no hate here brother.

I was so disappointed when I first heard this album. But after a good few listens, it took hold and now I hold it in high esteem.

It is tremendously immature lyrically, but then, that was never really a problem for me because I learned not to take Jahred's words seriously. He was singing dirty and devilish in Broke- "I come into your house and take your daughter for a ride". Though yes, on this effort, he is far more candid and full on.

Voices 2.5/5? Sheeeit! Great track!

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PostSubject: Re: Countdown to Forever! Only In Amerika(2004) review   Mon Jul 18, 2016 7:15 am

Same here; didn't like to much when I first heard it, after some listening it grown on me....but yeah I was expecting a little higher rating than 5/10 LOL!
This is/was a truly hardcore album, still so significant.
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PostSubject: Re: Countdown to Forever! Only In Amerika(2004) review   Mon Jul 18, 2016 11:13 am

This one is a classic, probably just after the S/T.
My only complaint is the horrible badly placed guitar solo on The Truth, what a mess!!
(live performance fixed that part however)
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