Pop Evil are definitely in the top spheres of the US hard rock scene. Their album regularly hit upper rankings in the charts – in addition, they are very successful on the singles side as well. On 21st May 2021, they release Versatile, their sixth studio album overall.
Pop Evil – About The Artists
Pop Evil are an US-American rock / hard rock band, which have been formed in 2001 by Leigh Kakaty. They come from North Muskegon, a town right at the East strand of Lake Michigan. Kakaty is the lead singer of the band, the other band members today are Nick Fuelling (lead guitar), Dave Grahs (rhythm guitar), Matt DiRito (bass) and Hayley Cramer (drums). Grahs and Kakaty are founding members of the band. The first releases of the band were an independent one, the album War of the Roses (2004) and Ready Or Not (2006, EP). In 2008, the band signed their first management deal and recorded the album Lipstick on the Mirror. The album made it to the Top 25 of the US Heat Charts.
Their second album War Of Angels (2011) already topped the US Hard Rock Charts and made it to the Top 50 in the overall US album charts. Since that time, the band regularly reached excellent chart positions with their albums on the rock side. There are also six singles, which made it to the top of the US Mainstream Rock charts. The last two ones were, Waking Lions of their previous 2018 album Pop Evil and Breathe Again, which reached that position in 2020 and is part of Versatile.
Pop Evil – Versatile – Track by Track
The twelve track album lasts 42 mintues.
1. Let the Chaos Reign
The album has a very classic setup: the first four songs are tracks, which have already been published as singles. Right when the Pop Evil fans are in party mood already, there are eight new ones to explore. The opening track Let the Chaos Reign definitely gives you some good steps into a rock lover’s comfort zone. Heavy scrumming on the guitars and a touch of metalcore is in the air as well. Great music for every electric guitar lover.
2. Set Me Free
Far away, so far below
All the demons inside of me
Falling apart everywhere I go
Why won’t you set me free?
Powerful close to spoken word passager and a melodic chorus – Set Me Free is a good track to explore the music of Pop Evil, if you don’t know the combo already. The different elements are long enough to get into them – but also that short that if they bother you, you never think about the skip button. Finally, you stay with this song for three and a half minute and enjoy.
3. Breathe Again
I can finally breathe again
Standing on my own two feet again
Learning that my scars won’t bleed again
Mistakes I couldn’t undo, try to destroy you
I can finally breathe again
Powerful, solid – and melodic – parts as well as guitar licks hammering like a machine gun. Finally, you know the elements which Pop Evil use to create their sound. But I just enjoy, it does not get boring. The first three songs are in fact Versatile. Glad that there is no fraudulent labeling on that album.
Work closes the set of the four singles released before the album. It takes about a minute before Pop Evil really give full force to the guitar strings for the first time. The song is still rather quiet compared to the songs before. This feels to lead to a very special, remarkable atmosphere.
Am I ever gonna break free?
Will I ever see what it’s worth?
‘Cause you tell me to be happy
When all I do, all I do is work
Inferno is a rather slow track, which has a lovely atmosphere. If you don’t like the chords to be played really hard, this may be a song of your choice.
6. Stronger (The Time Is Now)
Stronger (The Time Is Now) is one of my favorite songs. A great stadium rock song, which will be a great party track once the festivals are back again. You easily get into the song and just feel to join the band. Great chorus.
7. Raise Your Flag
It is quite amazing how different Pop Evil sound in this part of the album. The songs are rather feeling like great indie rock with a great potential to party. Where have all the metal and hard rock elements gone? If you need to bang your head to the chords, you might miss them – but in fact, these guys do really good in these songs as well.
8. Human Nature
Hard to understand that Human Nature has not been selected as one of the single releases. An amazing song, which has a lot of radio potential, even for mainstream station. We need to look inside our human nature – and I defintiely recommend a listen of this track.
That’s a massive modern rock power ballad! The more I listen to this section of the album, the less I understand the release strategy behind Versatile. Some of the premium parts of this album are definitely hidden to the band’s fans until 21st May 2021.
10. Worst In Me
I almost forgot that the band also works with electronic distortion, hard rock riffs and other rather metal-alike elements. Good that the angry Worst In Me reminds me of that. I have to admit that I loved the middle section of this album – but the harder track are good as well and typically come with a very good vocal performance. I just enjoy listening to Leigh Kakaty’s voice.
11. Same Blood
I did not write too much about the lyrics so far. Same Blood, the hymn for equality, is definitely a good opportunity to do so. This track is likely one of the best lyrics of the album – but overall, it is also fun to listen to the stories told by the band. The song is much than its topic, though. Great listen.
12. Fire Inside
The closing track is Fire Inside – and its powerful vocal and guitar performance makes this one one of my favorite songs of the whole album. The song comes with a nice drive and is a nice listen for rock fans as well as for those ones who raise the metal horns during a concert show.
Pop Evil – Versatile – Spotify
Here is Versatile on Spotify:
Pop Evil – Versatile – My View
I love Versatile. You know that this word pops up in so many Flyctory.com reviews. Finally, a variety of music styles as well as depth and variety of topics featured in the lyrics are the key elements to a striking album to me. Pop Evil deliver both in this May 2021 release – and thus, there is no doubt they deserve the Top Pick! banner.
2021 Top Pick! Media Reviews
Here are all my 2021 released Media Reviews, which lead to a Top Pick! rating:
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