Harakiri (album)

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Harakiri
Studio album by Serj Tankian
Released July 10, 2012 (2012-07-10)
Recorded Serjical Strike studios, Los Angeles, California
Genre Rock
Length 45:18
Label Reprise, Serjical Strike
Producer Serj Tankian
Serj Tankian chronology
Imperfect Remixes
(2011)
Harakiri
(2012)
Orca
(2013)
Singles from Harakiri
  1. "Figure It Out"
    Released: May 1, 2012
  2. "Cornucopia"
    Released: June 4, 2012
  3. "Harakiri"
    Released: July, 2012

Harakiri is the third studio album by Armenian-American singer Serj Tankian. The album was released on July 10, 2012, as a follow-up to his Electro Orchestra Jazz Rock album Imperfect Harmonies, released in 2010. The album also constitutes the first of four new albums set to be released in the near future, the other three being Orca, Jazz-Iz-Christ, and Fuktronic.[1]

Background[edit]

Harakiri is the third solo album from the System of a Down front man. Tankian has described the album as "the most up-tempo punk rock oriented record that I've written probably since the System days." In the same interview, he also confirmed that a 2013 world tour would likely follow in support of the album.[2] The album explores ideas of animal suicide.[3]

Recording[edit]

As his two previous releases, the album was produced by Tankian himself at his own studio in Los Angeles, California, USA. Harakiri differs from previous releases as three songs featured in it were initially sketched out on Tankian's iPad. He has himself declared that "We must trick ourselves into writing in different ways to get unexpected results."[4]

Composition[edit]

For Serj Tankian, each song on Harakiri has a specific meaning, as he writes in the website description of the album: "The Cornucopia of love/hate affairs with Gaia have made us scream "Fuck! Let's Figure It Out! CEOs are the disease." Where abusive capitalism's only fate is human/environmental devastation. The Ching Chime, diminutive drama of a gangsta Butterfly revealed that humanity's tears actually outweigh yearly rainfall on the planet. We have witnessed Harakiri on a grand scale tearing out the Occupied Tears of victims preyed on by victims turned aggressors creating a Deafening Silence through which we hear a voice plead, "Forget Me Knot, my child." Reality TV has become the searing indictment of a society best described as the Uneducated Democracy. The daughters of the evolution Weave On with blood dripping down their guilty hands onto the flag as the word republic is replaced by empire."[5]

"Weave On" was originally written for Prometheus Bound, a musical by Steven Sater. The work was inspired by Aeschylus' tragedy of the same name.[6]

Release and reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 65/100[7]
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[8]
Artistdirect 5/5 stars[9]
Consequence of Sound 3/5 stars[10]
CraveOnline 8/10[11]
PopMatters 4/10[12]
Spin 6/10[13]
Sputnikmusic 3.5/5[14]

Harakiri was released on July 10, 2012. Three singles were officially released from the album: "Figure it Out" on May 1, "Cornucopia" on June 4 and the title song "Harakiri" on June 20. "Uneducated Democracy" was also made available for streaming on Record Store Day.[15] The whole album was streamed at Red Bull USA on July 2, 8 days before its release.

Music videos[edit]

Two live action music videos have been released for the album so far. The first, "Figure It Out", was released on May 25. The video features Serj and members of the public protesting, while businessmen celebrate a bailout. Towards the end the protesters break into the meeting.[16] The second, "Harakiri", was released on July 11. The video includes quotes from Jean-Paul Sartre and Ralph Waldo Emerson alongside facts on animal suicide, GM crops and obesity, among other issues.[17]

An animated video for "Occupied Tears" was also released on July 11[18] while another animated video, for "Uneducated Democracy", was released on July 19.[19]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Serj Tankian, except where noted.

No. Title Length
1. "Cornucopia"   4:28
2. "Figure It Out"   2:52
3. "Ching Chime"   4:05
4. "Butterfly"   4:10
5. "Harakiri"   4:19
6. "Occupied Tears"   4:22
7. "Deafening Silence"   4:16
8. "Forget Me Knot"   4:26
9. "Reality TV"   4:09
10. "Uneducated Democracy"   3:59
11. "Weave On" (lyrics by Steven Sater) 4:07
Total length:
45:18

Personnel[edit]

All songs written, performed, and produced by Serj Tankian (Vocal, other instruments). +

Charts and certifications[edit]

Chart (2012) Peak
position
The Billboard 200
29
Canadian Albums Chart[20] 15
Finnish Albums Chart 16
Japan Albums Chart 84
Polish Albums Chart[21] 14

References[edit]

  1. ^ "New Record Coming! | Serj Tankian's Official Website. Get up to date news, tour dates, merchandise and more". Serjtankian.com. 2012-04-03. Retrieved 2012-05-11. 
  2. ^ "System of a Down's Tankian on Band's Future, Making a Jazz Record Called 'Jazz-iz-Christ'". Billboard.com. 2009-09-14. Retrieved 2012-06-23. 
  3. ^ "Serj Tankian Debuts "Figure It Out" From New Album ‘Harakiri’ – "Rock Is Easy. It Comes To Me Naturally"". Kroq.radio.com. 2012-01-05. Retrieved 2012-06-23. 
  4. ^ "Harakiri content". Serjtankian.com. 2012. Retrieved 2012-06-30. 
  5. ^ "Harakiri content and tracks description". Serjtankian.com. 2012. Retrieved 2012-06-30. 
  6. ^ "Prometheus Bound: A New Rock Musical". YouTube. Retrieved 2012-11-08. 
  7. ^ "Serj Tankian - Harakiri". Metacritic. Retrieved 2012-08-04. 
  8. ^ Heaney, Gregory. "Harakiri - Serj Tankian". Allmusic. Retrieved 2012-08-04. 
  9. ^ Florino, Rick (2012-06-28). "Serj Tankian "Harakiri" Album Review — 5 out of 5 stars". Artistdirect. Retrieved 2012-08-04. 
  10. ^ Kivel, Adam (2012-07-10). "Album Review: Serj Tankian – Harakiri". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 2012-08-04. 
  11. ^ Robinson, Iann (2012-07-03). "Review: Serj Tankian - Harakiri". CraveOnline. Retrieved 2012-08-04. 
  12. ^ Lepore, Steve (2012-07-17). "Serj Tankian: Harakiri". PopMatters. Retrieved 2012-08-04. 
  13. ^ Fury, Jeanne (2012-07-09). "Serj Tankian, ‘Harakiri’". Spin. Retrieved 2012-08-04. 
  14. ^ Viney, Joseph (2012-07-25). "Serj Tankian - Harakiri". Sputnikmusic. Retrieved 2012-08-04. 
  15. ^ "Harakiri's Uneducated Democracy stream". Serjtankian.com. 2012. Retrieved 2012-06-30. 
  16. ^ "Serj Tankian - "Figure It Out" Official Video". YouTube. Retrieved 2012-11-08. 
  17. ^ "Serj Tankian - Harakiri". YouTube. 2012-07-11. Retrieved 2012-11-08. 
  18. ^ "Video Serj Tankian - Occupied Tears van Serj Tankian - Myspace Video". Myspace.com. 2012-07-10. Retrieved 2012-11-08. 
  19. ^ "Serj Tankian - Uneducated Democracy". YouTube. 2012-07-19. Retrieved 2012-11-08. 
  20. ^ "CANOE - JAM! Music - SoundScan Charts". Jam.canoe.ca. Retrieved 2012-11-08. 
  21. ^ "OLiS: sales for the period 09.07.2012 - 15.07.2012". OLiS. Retrieved 2012-11-08.