"War of Angels," Pop Evil's second studio album, is so named to signify the struggle people experience when trying to leave their pasts behind.
The album was released in July and has 10 tracks, with a deluxe-edition only on iTunes that includes two extra tracks. "War of Angels" had an original release date of Feb. 8, but a week before that, the band announced that the album's release would be delayed due to "conflicts out of the band's control."
In the following months, the band left its label, Universal Republic, and after signing with E1 records, announced "War of Angels" was rescheduled for release on July 5. The delay might have had a positive effect since it gave the band about five months to record new material. "Monster You Made," another single from the album, was released June 7.
In its first week out, "War of Angels" became the top-selling rock album on iTunes. Below is a track by track review of Pop Evil's latest work, with each song rated on a scale of 1 to 10.
"Last Man Standing": The first single, released last September, and one of Pop Evil's hardest songs. This is the song that got me anticipating "War of Angels" because of the number's great instrumental work. Rating: 8.
"Epitaph": Great song to follow "Last Man Standing." Very fast-paced and the guitars stand out in this one. One of my favorites off of the album. Rating: 9.
"Broken & Betrayed": I could see this song being a post-album single. Although it's not the catchiest song on the album, it stands out. Rating: 7.
"Monster You Made": Pop Evil at their best, with very good lyrics and musical composure. Rating: 9.
"Let it Go": The softest song on the album; good lyrics. Rating: 7.
"Boss's Daughter": The hardest song on the album; it's fast-paced and the intro really gets you into the song. Rating: 8.5.
"Daisy Chain": Although this song is blatantly about sex, the chorus is oddly catchy, a Nickelback-Hinder style song. Rating: 5.
"Purple": Another soft song. This one has more personal lyrics than others on the album, but I can see many people relating to its words. Rating: 8.
"Black & Blue": The last original hard song on the album, with probably the best lyrics I've seen Pop Evil write, this one is about getting over a troubling relationship. Rating: 9.
"Next Life": Another slow song, very good lyrics, good chorus. This song is about coping with the loss of a loved one. Rating: 8.
And here's my take on the iTunes bonus tracks:
"Good With the Bad": From my perspective this song is about the relationship troubles someone would experience while in a band that travels a lot. Good lyrics, catchy. Rating: 7.
"Last Man Standing" (Manic Motor City Mayhem Remix): Basically the same song, just with slight instrumental adjustments. For a remix, this is a good song; if you get tired of listening to "Last Man Standing," this is a good way to mix it up. Rating: 8.
So if you've liked any mainstream rock album in the last decade, then this album is worth a listen. Although Pop Evil Didn't create a masterpiece, they definitely stepped up their game and proved that they are a true band in it for the long run.
Alex Esplin will be a senior this fall at Dorius Academy. He enjoys writing short stories and is working on a novel. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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