Hollywood Undead

American Tragedy

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AllMusic Review by Jason Lymangrover

After their debut, Swan Song, went gold, the six masked members of Hollywood Undead went back to their home studios and started pre-production on a follow-up. With some new tracks in tow, Johnny 3 Tears, J-Dog, Charlie Scene, Da Kurlzz, Funny Man, and new recruit Daniel "Danny" Murillo (a former American Idol contestant who replaced Aron “Deuce” Erlichman) reunited with former Hollywood Undead producer Don Gilmore and recruited four other producers (Griffin Boice, Sam Hollander, Dave Katz, and Kevin Rudolf) to broaden their sound. They succeed and they don’t, on this level. With more contributors, the group shows a wider range of influences, from mainstream pop, to Southern rap, to the usual riff-hearty rap-rock songs with big, shiny, Good Charlotte-style hooks, but at the core of the band, little has changed. The crew is still intentionally misogynistic and profane, sounding like caricatures of Eminem or Kid Rock as they rap and sing about gangsta clichés like puffing blunts, drinking Patron, getting booty, and flossing. Still, suburban youth won’t care if the material is stock. It’s a big, overstated album fit for moving car subwoofers, and even though it’s more layered with keyboards and digital gloss, the active rock appeal is there, even when they depart from the machismo and deliver the introspective rap ballads “Pour Me” and “Coming Back Down.”

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