Sound: "The View From The Bottom" is Lit's first release since their self-titled album in 2004, as well as their first recording since the passing of former drummer Allen Shellenberger. Despite all that's changed in eight years, Lit's sound hasn't really made that dramatic of a shift from their breakout album "A Place In The Sun".
There are a greater number of softer songs on this release, such as "She Don't Know", than I would've liked, but it's still a solid set of songs. "You Tonight" is the first single, but my personal favorite would either have to be "Miss You Gone" or "Nothing's Free". The only song I skip on nearly ever play-through is "Partner In Crime" due to the Talk Box overkill (think the intro to Bon Jovi's "Living On A Prayer" on steroids) during the entirety of the song. // 8
Lyrics: None of the lyrics are extremely deep, but anyone who calls themselves a fan of Lit wouldn't expect something Neal Peart-esque out of these guys. That isn't to say that the lyrics are all bad, however, as you can tell the guys had fun recording these songs. The second line of "Same S***, Different Drink" (another one of my faves on this album) says "My car is the front yard / I think I've been here before", which is a fun nod to a line from their first big hit "My Own Worst Enemy".
There's a lot more group chants, for lack of better terminology, on this album than I would've expected, and it begins to grow old quite fast. It can definitely be a fun layer added during live shows (which I'll say was spot-on when I saw them a few weeks ago), but listening through your headphones or speakers just doesn't inspire the same energy.
On an interesting side note, only one song, "She Don't Know", was written entirely by members of the band with no outside contributions. A lot of the lyrics are quite repetitive, so it makes me wonder if these other songwriters that the band brought in had anything to do with it. // 6
Overall Impression: Is it better than "A Place In The Sun"? I don't think so. There are some pretty good songs on this album, but Lit's breakthrough album will always be one of my favorites from the 90s.
Is it better than Blink-182's "Neighborhoods"? Yes. I compared these two as popular 90s bands that released albums after an eight year absence, and I can say that Lit stayed truer to their roots than blink did.
Is it better than The Offspring's "Days Go By"? I think so. I compared these two since both bands got started in California around the same time. The Offspring's latest offering hasn't been released yet, so it may not be a fair comparison, but listening to the title track leads me to believe that this release is better. // 7