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Tuesday, 10 July 2012

P.O.D. - Murdered Love - A personal view

It seems there is a spot of controversy surrounding the release of P.O.D.'s brand new album (out today). Originally slated for a June release it is being rumoured that the band held off release until the uproar regarding the final track on the album called 'I Am' had died down a little. But it seems that with the release it's only going to heat up even more.

I actually wasn't aware of this until I had bought it and decided to check out some reviews online. P.O.D. are not usually a band that attract a lot of criticism in some circles but within the world of Christianity they seem do have people rushing to one side to support them or to the other side to oppose them.

The uproar is because of the use of the "F" word in the song (used six times in the lyrics, though they have tried to dampen down the word it's still clear that they are using the word). The result is that 'Murdered Love' will only be released in the Christian Market sporting 10 songs and not 11 (which is for the mainstream market only). Personally I think it was a bit unwise of the band to include the song at all on the album mainly because it has the potential to do the band untold harm and sad to say has already stained their image as Christians.

In an interview for here's what they and Sonny had to say about the song:

The song “I Am” features some intriguing lyrics & what appears to be some editing out of language. Obviously this might come as a bit of surprise to many of your fans. Can you discuss the lyrics & the meaning behind the track?

Sonny: First off, I get both sides. I tend not to give power to silly things like that. I think it’s just more an aggression of where the song is coming from. It’s sad that even already people are already hearing about it. You have the self-righteous religious view; people paying more attention to one word instead of the whole song, full of lyrics. Look at the content of the situation. They tend to focus in some on one word, rather than everything that is being said. First off, that to me is the most shameful part of it. The meaning of the song speaks for itself. For me, hanging out with young people and seeing what they go through. Seeing the craziness of this world throws at you. For us to be dwelling some much on a word; to me, is that we’ve already lost sight of what really matters. I get it because we do have a Christian base. If Christianity is based on whether or not we swear or not, that’s the least of our worries. I’m not that kind of Christian and I normally don’t speak like that. However, it’s an expression for how intense the song is. I recorded it that way and after the long process of thinking about it and praying about it and seeking counsel over it; it was just like ‘let’s just bleep it out’. For other reasons, it just keeps it clean. There’s still other words in that song that still might make the record carry an explicit sticker on it. I get it ultimately. We don’t write Christian music, so that Christians can ultimately feel good. We tend to live in the real world. You know, I don’t live in a religious bubble. We’re surrounded by people that don’t have it figured out and who are lost. Again, that song on this record and everything that P.O.D. has ever been about is offering hope. We’ve found hope in the faith that we have in Jesus and in God. There are people that are still searching. This song discusses everything that I see people going through. This is just honest questions and asking God honest questions. People wanna focus in on a word, rather than on the content. If we happened to get smacked on the back of the hand, it’s not gonna be the first time. I know from  my experience, some kid will approach me saying ‘hey man, that’s my favorite song, this song really spoke to me because I am this person.’ That’s when it all makes sense.

The sad fact about this whole issue is that it actually detracts from the song itself which is a powerful tale of redemption from the darkness. 

Also the focus has centered on that one song that we actually forget there are ten other songs on the album. That's tragic and I hope that the album doesn't fail as a result becuse there's some fine tunes on the album, 'Murdered Love', 'Lost in Forever', 'Beautiful', 'On Fire', and 'Babylon the Murderer'.

Howard Benson is back at the controls again and they have some interesting guests with them Jamey Jasta ‘Hatebreed’, Sick Jacken ‘Psycho Realm’ and Sen Dog ‘Cypress Hill’.

A few reviewers are saying they are back to the quality of 'Satellite' but that then disregards the albums that followed. Okay, not all of them were brilliant but there were some outstanding songs. Their last album 'When Angels and Serpents Dance' (2008) I thought was a pretty good album and had some strong songs on it. 

Whatever the case, if you can get past the controversy of 'I Am' and you are a fan of P.O.D. I think you'll like the album, I do.
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