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October 2001 Pick of the Month

Artist: P.O.D.
Label: Atlantic 
Time: 15 tracks/ 52:55 minutes 

It seems almost surreal, on a day that will be forever marked as a day of national tragedy paralleling, if not surpassing, that of Pearl Harbor,  the Challenger explosion, or the assassination of President Kennedy; on a dark day when America stood still, one of the brightest spots in music released an album. The musical bright spot is P.O.D., and the music they make is from a Christian world view. 

Satellite, P.O.D.'s second major label release and the follow-up to the wildly successful Fundamental Elements of Southtown, is another powerful release from one of the most talked about up and coming bands in music. Taking the strongest points of their Atlantic debut, adding some new elements, and 
sharpening what works best for P.O.D. are the standout features of the new album. 

The album opens up with a rockin' track called "Set It Off," with driving guitars plus hittin' drums and bass under Sonny's rapped lyrics. This track leads into the first single off the album, "Alive," which is similar in style to the tracks that worked best on the major label debut. A straight ahead rock vibe with Sonny rapping some incredible lyrics expressing a blatant, in your face message of Christ. Lyrics that reflect what that message means to the band, satisfying the idea of compromising their beliefs in the face of fame: 

Sunshine upon my face 
A new song for me to sing 
Tell the world how I feel inside 
Even though it might cost me everything 
Now that I know this, so beyond, I can't hold this 
I can never turn my back away 
Now that I've seen you 
I can never look away 
Another track that stands out is "Youth of the Nation," which addresses the idea of violence and what teens face in this modern time of brutality and irrational acts. The added element of a youth choir singing the chorus at the end of the track adds a spiritual voice to this cry for understanding. There is a guest appearance from reggae artist Eek-A-Mouse on the track "Ridiculous," which uses an upbeat guitar rhythm giving the song a strong reggae/rock vibe. The sound works well with Sonny's voice, and the band picks up the style very well. 

Other guest appearances include Christian Lindskog, of Blindside, on a track entitled "Anything Right." The song opens up with a hard rhythmic guitar that leads into a slight violin break. A more quiet vocal delivery gives a dreamlike quality to the song, until the chorus hits with some hardcore style vocal delivery which is a stark contrast to the verses, but the effect is dramatic indeed. 

H.R., of the legendary hardcore band Bad Brains, also makes an appearance on the very hardcore influenced track "Without Jah, Nothin'." The track is melodramatic with Sonny's lyrics deeply buried in the hard edged delivery. The song is good, but different. 

Satellite is an interesting, quality, and dramatic album. P.O.D. holds its own with most of the hard rock bands out now. The band is very capable, and this album is just another testament to that. 

Aaron Bell 9/15/2001



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