Sound: After a three-year hiatus, during which they ended their relationship with RCA, Lit is obviously raring to go. It was not easy for bandmembers to split with RCA Records and change an expensive studio's equipment with a wall of amps and pedals to their own gear, which they used during live tour. "This time I just grabbed my Fender Telecaster and used my Marshall and my pedals and just tried to capture our live sound" - says Lit's axeman Jeremy Popoff. It's clear -- doing the record themselves has worked well.
On this album, Lit left door open for a few experiments. The band put aside classic pop-punk sound for the sake of more heavier stuff -- which we can hear on first two songs -- and an acoustic ballad.
If "Lit" could consist of just first four songs, it could be called an outstanding record of the recent years. Unfortunately, it doesn't. But... first things first. Because of Too Fat For A U-Turn and Looks Like They Were Right with heavier sound, Lit, being settled before as an alternative pop and pop-punk band, can be categorized as rock revival band now. If only they can proceed with this direction... Both songs -- with classis hard rock sounding -- obviously, is a big step forward. "Lit"'s third song, Needle & Thread, which features a crucial guitar solo by the Matches' Jon Devoto, and the following Time Like These put this album on the top of all Lit records to date.
On the rest of the record guys are doing what they are supposed to do -- mellow the grunge-lite-punk-metal assault of their first two albums in favour of airbrushed, radio-friendly power pop, as they did on "Atomic." Starting from Throwaway and ending with the final Bulletproof, "Lit" is a well done pop-punk with power chords in verses and singsong vocals in choruses.
Getting listened to the Lullaby, the ninth track on the album, my first thought was "What the f--k that was?" Piano intro (done by No Doubt's Eric Stefani), soft acoustic, cute vocals and "La-la-la, I am always gonna love you / I promise you, I promise / La-la-la, I am always thinking of you / I promise you, I promise" choruses are weird stuff to expect from the band. Lullaby was written by Jay Popoff for his son. Probably, it's just not my piece of cake. // 8
Lyrics: On "Lit" you can expect deeper lyrics rather than what you used to hear from the band before. This time most of their lyrics backed by real stuff happened in band members's lives. "Lyrically, I think a lot of people are gonna go, 'Shit, these guys have had some stuff going on.' We've been through some stuff this year." Popoff declines to offer specifics, only citing that the troubles stretch from personal to professional. "It's a silly analogy," he says. But it's like [1999's] "A Place In The Sun" was where everyone was excited about going to the party. "Atomic"  was the beginning at the party and everyone's drunk and all's good. This record is sort of like the kegs are covered in dust and people are throwing up. It's just time to go home. Lots of songs that just ask, 'Well, what now?' We used to be a little more vague and clever with our lyrics, to deliberately keep it impersonal. This time it's just a raw and back to basics record, very personal." // 10
Overall Impression: Power. Gripe. Diversity. Inevitability. You won't hear anything with as much of self-confidence as on Lit's self-titled record. Three sides of this confidence is their refined and redeveloped sound, a willingness to experiment and their decision to produce this album themselves. Self-titled 2004's release of the band is one of those records, which songs fit on each other and to the whole album's vengeful spirit. A venegance for the past semi-weak records. This is one of those rare cases when frontmans' voice fits to the music absolutely. If whistle guitars and sharp riffs of heavy songs; simplified and poor but still loud and powerfull punk riffs of the rest songs is what you're looking for, you must hear "Lit" for sure! // 10