SERJ TANKIAN “Harakiri” CD Review By: Macavity

July 17, 2012 by: Shauna O'Donnell

SERJ TANKIAN

“Harakiri”

By: Macavity

There is no better way to place your thoughts, feelings, views and beliefs out there than in music. The melody and inflections of the instruments including the vocals can express so much to so many and at the same time entertain. That is exactly what Serj Tankian has done with his third solo separate from System of a Down in “Harakiri.” The third time is a charm with this album for Tankian providing his awesome voice in the best and perhaps his most varied way. As with SOAD and his previous solo efforts this collection shows his passions for his heritage, life, beliefs and most of all an articulate view of the world and so many current events. What always sets him apart is not only his great vocal range and composition of stellar music to accompany it perfectly but his ability to get across the meaning and the feelings that are expressed in his lyrics. It is an added bonus that he is an accomplished composer, producer, historian, poet, philosopher and musician.

No better example of this is “Butterfly” in where his vocals change often and the chord changes are fascinating to entice you to listen more than once to get each meaning of the lyrics that are anything but easy to articulate much less sing. He does it flawlessly! The title song speaks of so many current events and mixes it with some of the best vocal performance of Tankian. The passion of Tankian comes out best in this track through the lyrics and the music he composed to get across some powerful messages.  “Occupied Tears” is as haunting as the subject matter but again the clever individualistic use of a variety of instruments makes this a musical, as well as, lyrical standout. “Forget Me Knot” is one of the most interesting to hear his voice, lyrics and music adroitly complimented with a stunning female voice; unexpected but at the same time a hallmark of his composing to weave the unexpected throughout all his music. A personal favorite is “Reality TV” and is a must listen to find out why. Amazingly well done in all aspects!

“Harakiri” appears to follow the film of the same name that covers many elements of the political/social environment of the early 1600’s in Japan. Having said that, the lyrics speak of the current world and many countries and societies. The best analogy is that he and his accompanying bandmates have woven a tapestry that, when turned front or back, has the same amazing pattern and workmanship with only the titles changed to “history” and “current.”

It is impossible to pick a favorite song on this album because they are all favorites for different reasons! The only thing that can be said for certain is that this CD is of the highest quality both musically and lyrically. It is clear that much like the film the warrior needs no lord and can accomplish anything and express strength and passions regardless of perceived “boundaries” and always with an unexpected twist. Quite simply this is the best to be heard of Tankian on any disc. So far…

www.serjtankian.com

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