I’m not familiar with the band System of a Down, but their front man Serj Tankian has gone on the solo route with this album (however, I don’t think that he’s quitting the band just doing this solo effort).
Tankian also is known for founding Axis of Justice, a non-profit organization to promote social justice, with Tom Morello of Audioslave.
It’s obvious that he wants to work his political leanings into his music, but oddly the songs that I recognized this trend in were the least effective on the album (to my untrained ear, you may love them).
“The Unthinking Majority” says “I believe that you’re wrong in insinuating that they hold the bomb, clear the way for the oil brigade.” I guess that he’s trying to say something about Iraq (duh). The odd thing about some of the songs is that he sings them with a pronounced accent that is not found on the others.
Tankian was born in Beirut, Lebanon, but was raised in Los Angeles. I don’t know if he’s doing this for effect or if when he tries to sing at a different range that the accent just comes out (I found an online interview with him and I’d not say that he really has too much of an accent and certainly not like the one used on the songs).
“Money” and “Saving Us” were a really good tracks and I didn’t detect the accent I heard in the songs I’d consider politically motivated. There’s a picture him on his Wikipedia entry that makes him look like a bit of a madman, but I imagine that he just has a different sense of humor instead of being certifiable (which made me wonder even more about the accentuation of the accent in some of the songs).
All in all I liked the album, but the tracks that really did it for me were the ones where a “message” wasn’t being sung to me, like “Money” (or I just didn’t notice the message in those tracks).