Top critical review
10 people found this helpful
on October 26, 2005
My first exposure to Otep was via an internet radio station "Chronix Aggresion". I forget the name of the song, but I thought the vocal style was very interesting. The ability of Otep to spew forth a stream of rhymes with seemingly inhuman lung capacity is commendable, and the soul reason this album receives a 2 instead of one. However, any semblence of talent ends here. The instrumentation is standard, canned, nu-metal fair. The writing is unoriginal, and frankly, boring. The style is monotonous; if you've heard one Otep song, you've heard them all. I cannot recommend this album to anyone; anything it attempts to achieve is executed far better by other artists. I mostly blame the recording label.
For a band like Otep, with a motto of "Destroying Popular Culture One Mind at a Time", it is obvious that instrumentation will take a back seat to lyrics. And this is okay, John Lennon was a model of social commentary, and yet his musical ability was somewhat less than top notch; you listened for the message. However, this is by no means an acceptable excuse for dull, generic instrumentation. Good instrumentation can enhance a message, working in tandem, bringing forth nuance and undertones not apparent from the lyrics alone. Not every band can be, or should be, Van Halen, where songs were merely a vehicle for Eddy's guitar. I get the distinct impression that Otep is comprised of "musicians" -- to use the term loosely -- that only learned enough to be satisfied with staying in rythm and mostly staying in tune. Compared to bands like Kittie that constantly strive to improve their already excellent ability, this feels insulting, as it shows the band does not care for their listeners.
The age of the American Teen Angster is over. The writing on this album reminds me of a 15 year old goth girl, sitting in her upper-middle class suburban palace-in-a-box, trying desperately to gain the attention of her work-aholic parents. It may have been original in the mid 90's, but today it's just boring and annoying. To Otep: Get over your manufactured issues and say something new.
And while on the issue of newness, I suggest to the band that utilizing an array of differing and varying chord progressions may enhance the variety of their musical fair. I could not identify the song I first encountered on the radio. Every time I heard a song that I thought matched, the next song would make me doubt my apparently hasty decision. It may be that the song isn't even on this album, that the monotony extends across albums, and that it doesn't really matter, because it's all one song anyway. It reminds me of the dance remixes of popular songs: the overlayed beeps, saws, and piano chords have nothing to do with the lyrics, they're interchangeable, consumable, and disposable.
Don't buy this album, and certainly don't pirate this album, as the greatest waste is that of your time. Play with rocks, or sit on the street corner giving dirty looks to pedestrians; these activities are certainly more enriching than Otep and Sevas Tra. I ended up burning the CD. No, I don't mean I copied it from someone else, I mean I literally burned it, fire, melting plastic, smoke, everything.