Serj Tankian – Imperfect Harmonies

With his main band on hiatus, Serj Tankian is busy with a whole range of different projects, including his own solo records. His first effort, entitled Elect The Dead, was a very solid affair and musically much in line with System Of A Down. His latest record may turn a couple of heads due to its unconventional approach. Enter Imperfect Harmonies.

Serj Tankian is known for his eclectic and unorthodox approach to music, but on Imperfect Harmonies he really managed to catch me by surprise. Anyone hoping for something in the vein of System Of A Down will be disappointed. There isn’t anything remotely resembling rock or metal on this album. So what’s so special about this record you might ask?

It’s quite simple. Uncle Serj takes you on a musical journey through all the corners of his brilliant mind. The compositions are compact but at the same time incredibly rich in texture and arrangements. The basis of it all is chamber music played by a string section with occasional back-up from a full blown symphonic orchestra.

On Imperfect Harmonies Serj Tankian flirts with jazz (Disowned Inc), acid (Deserving?, Reconstructive Demonstration) and Armenian folk (Beatus, Left Of Centre), and he often combines all those elements into one giant musical melting pot (Electron, Peace Be Revenged). I don’t know how he manages to pull it off, but the effect is simply mind blowing.

His vocals are as diverse as the music. He refrains from his traditional shouting, but he goes totally nuts on multi-layered vocal tracks, creating a certain choir vibe, which fits the music well.

There’s a fine line between sheer genius and insanity and I think Serj Tankian is somewhere in between. Imperfect Harmonies is an ode to unorthodoxy and avant-garde. This is art as art should be. Utterly brilliant!

written by Raymond Westland

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