Serj Tankian‘s solo career has been hit and miss with me thus far, with his album Elect the Dead splitting down the middle when it comes to songs I enjoy and songs I couldn’t give two shits about; and I think it’s safe to say that his new song “Borders Are” lies on the “no care ever” side of the fence. Maybe Serj’s follow-up Imperfect Harmonies will have something to offer for me, but if it’s anything like Elect the Dead, I’ll have to tread lightly before I say too much.

“Borders Are” is currently being offered as a free download at this location. The song’s lyrical standpoint is an all too obvious Serj political criticism aimed at the borders that divide nations. While I agree with his sentiments, I’m more of a metaphorical type of guy who doesn’t like the message spoon fed to me, which Serj is clearly doing. I also find it funny that the US-Mexican border is the last one to vanish in the video. Serj was never the subtle type.

The songs musical elements on the other hand, leaves some to be desired–at least to my ears. It seems he wants to expand on a more classical approach to songwriting and instrumentation that was established on Elect the Dead and further explored on his symphonic live rendition, Elect the Dead Symphony (see? more subtlety!) This doesn’t really do much for me, but this definitely has some room to grow.

Serj Tankians sophomore solo album, Imperfect Harmonies, is due out September 7th on Serjical Strike/Reprise Records. Anyone else think SOAD should hurry the fuck up and come out of hiatus?

– JR

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