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Something New - 60%

McTague97, January 6th, 2015

After setting aside speed and technicality for a more melodic path in the 90s that slowly became the hard rock sound found on Youthanasia and Cryptic Writings, Youthanasia was a solid release Cryptic Writings was a major disappointment. So of course many fans started passing on rumors of what the follow up would sound like. Only a small few of them at that time could truly predict what would come next though.

This is where Dave decided to play with all those genres that had been taboo through out his career so far, after releasing 2 hard rock albums it would seem he no longer saw a need to try and spoon feed metalheads material that would appease them, and so Megadeth saw the release of a pop rock album. One might argue there are too many influences (country, electronic, arena rock etc.) to simply sum it up as pop rock but most of these influences are pretty slight and only come in on a few tracks where as the pop rock elements are strong and present throughout. Either way its not the music you'd typically find on the shelf of any type of metalhead.

None of Megadeth's albums have ever had the same level of aggression and venom as Killing Is My Business, but this falls furthest from the tree. Dave shies away from aggression as much as he can, even their melodic thrash albums like Countdown to Extinction screamed out with anger but here its all different. He doesn't sound the slightest bit upset or even like hes trying to fake it, you can almost feel rainbows and sunshine spilling out of your speakers and ear buds on some tracks (Breadline for example seems very upbeat). As far as singing he does alright but he isn't anything special, especially with the lack of energy he seems to have. His emphasis is on how catchy he can make it (insomnianianiania).

As far as the guitar work goes its as simplistic as he could get away with, its mid tempo, not even really melodic except for the little jingle like hooks that are littered throughout; no technicality at all. Doesn't seem very energetic and has absolutely no edge at all. Its just there for those little hooks because like every other element to this album it revolves around being catchy, there are solos too but nothing of note. He treats us with some nice acoustic passages but they aren't utilized as much as they should be, they could make some pretty cool sections but exnay on that because he just wanted them there so that it wasn't all electric.

The drumming is so simple its practically 4 on the floor beats. Mean you often hear in basic level music classes that drums are just for keeping time and a nice simple beat for the instruments to follow and I swear to god this is the kind of thing they'd play after telling you that as an example. There is no substance to the drumming beyond that, might as well have fired the drummer and used a machine for this album. It has some electronic drum sections, which was a nice trick to throw things up and make something new, like the idea of the acoustic guitar it was one of the greatest ideas on this album but it was sorely under utilized. The bass just rounded out the sound.

I really must applaud Dave for the idea of this, I like the versatility, I like the new elements and hell this is the only time I've found country music to be acceptable (Wanderlust) but there are so many things to be improved upon. It doesn't even bother me that this album isn't metal in any way but there needs to be more to these songs then catchy choruses and hooks. You had a bunch of styles to play with but you didn't let any of them shine through properly. These are usually styles I hate too so the mere fact I'm not shitting all over it should speak volumes about his adaptive abilities even if it does leave room for improvement.