I know it's only been two years since they put out an album, but it felt like a lot longer. What's super spiffy about this album is that Moke and Evil J are back, which is great for fans because according to the interview on the Deluxe Edition (or boxed set as this happens to be), it allowed her to get more personal with her lyrics. This album really makes you think.
I think this is a very strong album because a lot of songs are hard hitting and have an obvious political/social message (namely "Rise, Rebel, Resist," "Smash the Control Machine," "Numb & Dumb," etc.). As heavy as most of these songs are, "UR A WMN Now" struck me as the most shocking because it's only the second time you really hear Otep actually sing - instead of roar or do more spoken word style - with violin and piano accompanying. It's a beautifully done song that begs the question "What actually is the point at which a girl becomes a woman?"
I love the way she sings her lyrics - you can hear the derision, hypocrisy, rage, incredulity, passion, and inspiration that her lyrics are meant to reflect but that her voice drives home ("Smash the Control Machine" is the first song that comes to mind ... "Unveiled" is another great example). She is such an incredibly creative, articulate person and I can't say enough about how I feel about the way she expresses her thoughts, opinions and experiences.
The DVD was a great bonus, especially for those of us who aren't glued to our computers and watch everything via YouTube or MySpace pages. Otep goes over the songs on the album and what inspired them (Prop 8 to ban gay marriage here in California figured prominently) and what went into getting them written and recorded. She also reads three original poems which I thought was a treat. My only complaint is that the DVD wasn't longer and more in depth.
I push Otep on anyone I meet just because I think she's simply fabulous. It's great being able to hear a chick roar better than most men in the genre and it's better still knowing that she has a brain to back up the voice. Five stars doesn't even begin to cover how I feel about this album.
PS - for the aspiring/actual entomologists, I am sad to say that unlike previous albums, insects do not make up any of the lyrical content on this one.