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Adam R. Holz
Bob Smithouser

Album Review

Pro-Social Content

“Lost in Hollywood” and “Old School Hollywood” expose the vicious, vacuous nature of showbiz in L.A. Perhaps pacifist to a fault, “B.Y.O.B. (Bring Your Own Bombs)” still promotes peace as it defends oppressed, exploited people. With similar compassion, “Sad Statue” longs to ease suffering and calls forgiveness the ultimate sacrifice. Harsh language notwithstanding, “Violent Pornography” rails against sexualized violence on TV. Drug addiction is deemed unhealthy, but …

Objectionable Content

“This Cocaine Makes Me Feel Like I’m on This Song” rambles absurdly about killers and gonorrhea. The singer’s demons have their day on the murderous fantasy “Revenga.” Angry f-words punctuate “Violent Pornography” and “B.Y.O.B.,” while s-words and slang for male genitalia get repeated ad nauseam on “Cigaro.” Also, women are called “b–ches” (“Lost in Hollywood”).

Summary Advisory

One needn’t buy into the band’s impassioned, left-leaning political agenda to respect its crusade against perceived injustices and the hollowness of Hollywood. Down with arrogant despots! Up with the poor and oppressed! Yet no matter how well-meaning, Mezmerize’s messages resort to vulgar language and fall short of offering hope or positive alternatives.

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Adam R. Holz

After serving as an associate editor at NavPress’ Discipleship Journal and consulting editor for Current Thoughts and Trends, Adam now oversees the editing and publishing of Plugged In’s reviews as the site’s director. He and his wife, Jennifer, have three children. In their free time, the Holzes enjoy playing games, a variety of musical instruments, swimming and … watching movies.

Bob Smithouser