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Rise! P.O.D.’S Satellite Blasts Off
A review of the band's latest album.
[544 words]
G Sandberg
[February 2002]
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Rise! P.O.D.’S Satellite Blasts Off
G Sandberg

Amid the terrible and tragic events of September 11, maybe there was one good thing that happened other than the heroics of the brave rescue workers at the scenes of the attacks and the gallant resistance aboard Flight 93.
P.O.D.’s second record with Atlantic Records was released on that infamous day, the follow-up to 1999’s platinum The Fundamental Elements of Southtown. Titled Satellite, the album seems to be properly named because it has simply taken off! Their first single, “Alive” dominated MTV’s “Total Request Live,” as it held the number one spot for many days. Thus, P.O.D. is one of only three rock bands that has held a spot traditionally held by the typical bubblegum pop group or rapper.

But do not be mistaken. As expressed on the track titled “Boom,” P.O.D. has not had a short career. The group has been together for almost ten years, since 1992 in fact, and has recorded many albums, although not with Atlantic. The four-piece band consists of Sonny as lead singer, Marcos on guitar, Cleveland-born Traa on bass, and Wuv (Sonny’s cousin) playing the drums. All four are from San Ysidro, California, which they refer to as “Southtown,” because of its close location to Mexico. This fact is important musically because many of their melodies incorporate Spanish-sounding parts, although that is not the only culture represented by P.O.D.’s barrier-breaking tunes. Sonny has always been a fanatic of hip-hop, and Traa’s bass style is definitely funk driven.

Although P.O.D.’s music can most generally be categorized as hard rock or heavy metal, it is in fact is a blend of many different sounds, which happen to flow together oh so beautifully. “Ridiculous” features Jamaican reggae artist Eek-a-Mouse, adding a unique Caribbean sound, Christian Lindskog from blindside adds his voice to “Anything Right,” and “Without Jah, Nothin’” features the totally eccentric HR from the Bad Brains, which is the favorite band of P.O.D. Even all of the other songs have their own feelings and styles, although not nearly enough to make the album seem hastily stitched together. From powerful anthems like the first track, “Set it Off” and “Alive,” emotional outpourings such as “Ghetto” and “Thinking About Forever,” plus the snippets of punk and hip-hop, P.O.D. has it all. The stirring “Youth of the Nation” speaks out against violence in schools and other serious problems that youth face today.

As one may have noticed by now, P.O.D. is not the average rock band. Unlike many of today’s metal bands, P.O.D.’s lyrics are not only understandable, but they have a passionate message, and a positive one at that. The members of P.O.D. are not ashamed of their faith in God, the main focus in many of their songs and especially ones like “The Messenjah.” They often refer to God as Jah, a term taken from Jamaican culture. Each song’s lyrics contain a valuable lesson about life derived from their devout Christian faith. These powerful messages definitely make each track even more meaningful, although the edgy, hard-core music itself is already awesome.

Satellite’s positive and useful material makes it worth more than the money put down for it at the record store. Anyone who loves powerful rock music with a spiritual twist should check out P.O.D.’s new album ASAP!


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© 2001 G Sandberg
December 2001

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