Rating:
8.1
System Of A Down - Steal This Album!
20 September 2002


01. Chic 'N' Stu
02. Innervision
03. Bubbles
04. Boom!
05. Nüguns
06. A.D.D.
07. Mr. Jack
08. I.E.A.I.A.I.O.
09. 36
10. Pictures
11. Highway Song
12. Fuck The System
13. Ego Brain
14. Thetawaves
15. Roulette
16. Streamline


With the release of their first album, System Of A Down were something different. They were bizarre, they were original, and they were over the top in a good way. Toxicity took away most of the ridiculousness and they became pretty generic. Steal This Album! was a short return to their old selves before returning to their style on the previous release.

Steal This Album! is essentially nu-metal, but also contains elements of various genres all over the place such as grindcore and indie rock. There are some real standout tracks like "Chic 'N' Stu" and "Ego Brain", but, like most records, Steal This Album! has some fillers like "36" (this is where the grindcore element comes in) and "Roulette". The majority of the songs are extremely catchy and enjoyable to listen to. The main thing this album does better than the rest in their discography is balancing the number of heavy songs with the number of lighter ones. The lyrics range from political commentary to singing about eating pizza. There's nothing to complain about them, except maybe they're a bit repetitive, but that's System Of A Down's trademark.

As always, Serj does great on vocals with some Daron vocals thrown in as well, which were absent on the first album. He's not a bad singer, but on some of the tracks his screeching can become very obnoxious. I've got nothing to complain about the production; it's great like it usually is. Daron is a pretty decent guitarist, and does well on here. While the guitar part is very simplistic, it would have sounded very out of place if it was any more technical. The drumming fits in well with the music and isn't too distracting like a lot of nu-metal drumming is. Like Daron, John doesn't do many complex rhythms here, and that works just fine for me. The bass playing is excellent and does great accompaniment on a majority of the tracks, so I give Shavo props on that.

So if you are looking for something exciting and new, listen to System Of A Down first. If you really enjoyed it, this is the next best place to go. It's pretty similar in some aspects, but adds more variation while being a bit more simplistic songwriting-wise.

Performance: 8
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 10
Production: 9


Band profile: System Of A Down
Album: Steal This Album!


 


written by king_matt | 16.02.2013


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.



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Jaeryd17‍ - 16.02.2013 at 08:57  
I actually think this was the worst in their discography. This review is all backwards from my perspective. Not only is the production bland, but the vocals are very off, the songwriting is boring, and the album had neither the psychotic eccentricities of their debut album, nor the mainstream, digestible appeal of the second. Really, it sounds like an album that is full of filler, does only a few interesting things, and in the end feels like it takes way too long to get through, despite it clocking in at only 43 minutes long (it feels like an hour).

Don't get me wrong, I've still enjoyed this album, and your review was well written from an understandable perspective, I just don't agree with it at all.

Also, I must point out a few other things. Chic'N'Stu is not actually just about pizza, it's about advertisement. They got the inspiration for a song when an advertisement for pizza came on and suddenly they were hungry. So it is, in essence, semi-political.

One other mistake to point out: Daron has actually done vocals on the first album. I can't think of every instance in which he has provided his vocals, but the first two things that come to mind is in Suite Pee, right after Serj growls "DIE", daron says "Like a mothafucka!". In Sugar, that's Daron saying "Suga!".
king_matt - 16.02.2013 at 20:37  
Written by Jaeryd17‍ on 16.02.2013 at 08:57

I actually think this was the worst in their discography. This review is all backwards from my perspective. Not only is the production bland, but the vocals are very off, the songwriting is boring, and the album had neither the psychotic eccentricities of their debut album, nor the mainstream, digestible appeal of the second. Really, it sounds like an album that is full of filler, does only a few interesting things, and in the end feels like it takes way too long to get through, despite it clocking in at only 43 minutes long (it feels like an hour).

Don't get me wrong, I've still enjoyed this album, and your review was well written from an understandable perspective, I just don't agree with it at all.

Also, I must point out a few other things. Chic'N'Stu is not actually just about pizza, it's about advertisement. They got the inspiration for a song when an advertisement for pizza came on and suddenly they were hungry. So it is, in essence, semi-political.

One other mistake to point out: Daron has actually done vocals on the first album. I can't think of every instance in which he has provided his vocals, but the first two things that come to mind is in Suite Pee, right after Serj growls "DIE", daron says "Like a mothafucka!". In Sugar, that's Daron saying "Suga!".


Thanks for the critque. Ah, and you're right; I did forget about the minor vocals Daron did on the first album. But still, they weren't as significant as they were on this album.
The Moor - 12.03.2013 at 17:52  
Is just a compilation of tracks, not a studio album, that's the funny thing of this album. Personally i have good memories about this, is weird, with hilarious songs and it sounds really sick. So much better then all the next albums follow to this one.
!J.O.O.E.! - 12.03.2013 at 17:56  
Written by Guest on 12.03.2013 at 17:52

Is just a compilation of tracks, not a studio album, that's the funny thing of this album. Personally i have good memories about this, is weird, with hilarious songs and it sounds really sick. So much better then all the next albums follow to this one.

an album is a compilation of tracks. You mean this is a compilation album, which it isn't. It's b-sides left over from Toxicity if I'm not mistaken, and all the tracks were recorded in a studio and have not appeared on anything before this (so not a compilation album).
The Moor - 12.03.2013 at 21:30  
Yes, that was exactly what i would say....i don't know wtf i was thinking, btw my english fails me this time....what i would say is that in fact, it's a b-side album.....forget about it, i was drunk haha

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