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Elect the Dead

4.3 out of 5 stars 108 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 23, 2007
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Editorial Reviews

One of the most unconventional frontmen in rock, System Of A Down singer Serj Tankian debuts as a solo artist with Elect The Dead. SOAD's genrebending albums sold 16 million copies but went on hiatus in 2006. So Tankian retreated to his L.A. home studio to write and produce Elect The Dead. Neither a mellow excursion into world music or the frantic war-cry of SOAD, the rockin' Elect The Dead showcases his inimitable vocals and incisive lyrics. Multi-faceted and multi-layered, Elect The Dead is both thought provoking and from the heart.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 23, 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Warner Bros / Wea
  • ASIN: B000TX7B5U
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (108 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #20,648 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Having heard the two singles, "The Unthinking Majority" and "Empty Walls," dozens of times on the radio, I knew I wanted to buy this album, even though it's not my typical music choice and I'm not familiar at all with Tankian's previous works or SOAD. The songs were catchy, they stayed in my head, and when I actually bothered to take a listen to the lyrics I was surprised and impressed by the complexity and politics.

So, being a naive newcomer to Tankian, I bought the album, figuring it would be some dozen tracks just like the two singles. Not true, and in the best way possible.

While Elect the Dead is a decidedly cohesive album in style and musicality, after the two title tracks it is surprisingly more introspective than I would have guessed. After listening through the album the first time, I was left with a feeling altogether different than the one I had from the singles. It was a much richer, deeper sense than the go-go-go politicism of Unthinking Majority and Empty Walls. Tankian has far more layers to his music than mere social commentary. While I won't deny that there's such commentary throughout the lyrics, there exist emotions above and beyond this social commentary. There are moments of melancholy and curiosity, eloquently conveyed by Tankian's voice. The man can shout his lyrics with the best, but he can also slow and draw his voice out into a despairing line, calling emotions up in the listener.

One element that's definitely carried through to several tracks is the juxtaposition heard in Empty Walls -- going from five hundred miles an hour to five, wild one moment and tender the next. The way Tankian does it, even though the various modes may sound entirely different taken individually, the elements complement each other in each individual song.
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Format: Audio CD
As an interested but not quite obsessive fan of System of a Down, I've been dying to hear Serj Tankian get the chance to explore his own vision. I have long been extremely fascinated by Serj's unique vocal talents, and I was not happy at all with the last two SOAD albums, in which Serj was demoted to a part-time employee of Daron Malakian. But perhaps I have underestimated Serj's contributions to the band, because this solo album features advancements in the best aspects of the SOAD sound, from the bludgeoning aggro riffs to the vertiginous timing changes to the violent mood swings. Even better, this album could be seriously viewed as an improvement on SOAD, rather than just a solo side project, because by applying his own complex muse Serj has made the sound more personable and immediate.

There are some true musical advancements on this album, which will put to rest any doubts about the primacy of Serj's talents. Most noteworthy are the highly unusual art-metal contortions of "Honking Antelope" and "Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition," not to mention snippets of very believable piano-driven balladry sprinkled throughout the album (usually employed as introductions or codas for more aggressive songs). And regardless of the great musical achievements here, Serj's voice is the reason for this album's existence, and he effortlessly carries each song with his diverse stylistic changes, somber to frantic delivery, and curve-ball phrasing. In just a few examples of Serj's impressive vocal acrobatics, check out his almost teary balladic singing in "Saving Us," lightning-speed scatting in "Praise the Lord..." and bullying metallic chants in "The Unthinking Majority." This album is a relentlessly fascinating display from a unique talent, and a showcase for one of the best singers on the scene today. [~doomsdayer520~]
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Format: Audio CD
Within its simplicity and original aesthetics this is what an album SHOULD BE LIKE. Now days getting mp3 songs is so easy that it has become hard for artist to sell their albums and I say this as an artist myself. Now, as a listener I have to admit that albums like this one is what makes me want to buy them. The art work on this album is exquisite and meaningful, the lyrics are more focused on Serj's mind rather than political issues, yet it lets you visualize different aspects while keeping you interested and entertained; all this concept is well kept throughout the entire 12 tracks of Disk 1, Disk 2 is a bonus feature. The music in this album is well organized. It contains a solid base sound and rhythmics resembling somewhat to system of a down however not the same. In my opinion it has a more mature and refined sound and its simplicity makes it even more of an amazing album. This is somewhat irrelevant to the album but I'd like to mention the fact that the marketing strategy of this album was properlly done and this might not be important to some people but it actually reflects the goals of the artist and his label. totally worth buying the limited edition, plus it gives you access the premium website.

Talented Artist. Great Music. Excellent Lyrics. Amazing ArtWork.
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Format: Audio CD
I'm so relieved to be listening to "Elect the Dead" after almost losing all hope with SOAD's latest albums Hypnotize/Mesmerize. Upon reading the liner notes in the above stated LP's, it became obvious where the control in the band had ended up. Don't get me wrong I think Daron is a talented musician who works well in a back-up vocal role to Serj. but let's face it. Serj is SOAD and I think most others will agree that an element has been missing in System since Malakian has taken over the primary writing and lead vocal parts of SOAD. I personally tire fast of the silly, meaningless, unintelligent side of more recent SOAD. I don't know the true story on how it happened, but somehow either by choice or by force the voice of System of a Down was tracked to nothing more than a background voice. Too me, the album "Steal this Album" showcased Daron's writing style, and for a B-sides album, it was truelly amazing! But let's call it like it is. It (Steal this Album) was still a B-sides album. Both Hypnotize and Mesmerize had thier highlights, sighting "Holy Mountains" as one of the more memorable gems on an album set hindered by piles of Fools Gold. Okay, enough on the history of one of the greatest bands in existence. Let us give credit where credit is due. This album is nothing short of pure brilliance. The structure, balance, emotion reminds me of everything that I love about Toxicity, and SOAD's self-titled release. I'm entranced by this album. After the second listen you'll be hooked and catching little intricate parts that you might've missed the first time through. If you are someone into radio singles, this isn't going to be for you. If you appreciate good music in the vein of Tool, RATM, Dredg. and Porcupine Tree. Pick this album up! This is the spirit of System of A Down and what it was meant to be. There is something to be said about passion!
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