When this album first came out I was rather intrigued but slightly confused. I had always known that Devin had a rather odd sense of humour. Watching the preview videos for it, I knew this was something I had to buy. In all fairness I wasn't expecting much, but what I got was probably one of my all time favourites.
The production of this album is pretty limited for Devin due to his decision to make this thing pretty much completely by himself. While the guitars and keyboards do sound giant, the drums have a very mechanical feel to them, mainly due to the fact that they where programmed. But, because of this, the drums on this album are doing things that a human is pretty much incapable of doing with his body. Vocally Devin has really shown how diverse he is, by portraying most of the characters on the album.
For those who don't know, this album is a concept album about an alien who comes to Earth looking for coffee, tries to take over the world, and then decides to learn more about himself. I know to many people it sounds stupid...and it is, but it's pulled off so well. A lot of people always compare Devin to Frank Zappa, and, yea this album proves this completely. Zappa who was well known for making rather silly concept albums such as “Joe's Garage” and “Thing-Fish.” The thing is, even though these albums where rather silly in nature, there was brilliant satire in them. In many ways, this album is a satire...a personal satire. If you read the lyrics very carefully, and even look at the image of Ziltoid...it is pretty obvious that the puppet is Devin. In many ways, this is Devin's most personal album to date. I would explain more, but then you might not want to listen to it...and you should listen to it.
The opener “ZTO” is pretty much the theme tune for the album. A brilliant way to open this rollercoaster of madness.
“By Your Command” is pretty much the opener for the album, and shows a lot what the album has in store for you. As usual, Devin's vocals are as diverse as ever. The real highlight is the rhythmic and almost chant like ending, with some absolutely brain melting riffs.
“Ziltoidia Attaxx!!!” would have been the perfect choice for a single, mainly due to its catchiness, its groovy nature and it's plain craziness. The drum programming for this song is insane. I don't think a drummer could move his feet this fast. The guitar work on this track is pretty impressive as well, even if it is rather satirical.
“Solar Winds” is pretty much the ballad on the album, and compared to the rest of it, it's a lot more gentle in nature. Some very beautiful parts in this song, with Devin giving a very honest and quiet vocal performance for a lot of it.
This album also contains the first incarnation of “Hyperdrive.” I have to admit, I do prefer the “Addicted!” version mainly because of Anneke's voice, but this original is pretty laid back and rather pretty.
My least favourite song on the album would have to be “N9.” I can kind of see why it was on the album and it does have some pretty nice moments, but in all fairness, it does seem a tiny little bit out of place.
One of my personal favourites would have to be “Planet Smasher.” With the introduction of one of the coolest ideas for a character ever, Devin voices him with an insane low death metal growl. Definitly one of the catchier songs on the album and one of the most impressive.
The album's closing epic “Color Your World” pretty much ends the album. While most of it is pretty much heavy and crazy, the middle section of this song has to be one of the most beautiful pieces of music Devin has ever created. A great climax to the album.
The final song “The Greys” is very much the ending song. A very relaxed ending with a rather nice and catchy chorus. One of the more simplest songs, but still very effective.
In conclusion, this album is definitely something that everyone should listen to. It's so accessible, and its rather ingeniously done. If you don't like metal, you may at least find this album funny. If you aren't a comedy fan, you may enjoy the album's music. Pretty much, you got to respect an artist who makes a joke album, and is able to make it one of the most successful and meaningful album's they've ever done.