Sound — 10
I recently read an article in the Guitar World magazine on these guys. It blew my mind just hearing them talk about this new record so I went out and bought it, thats right bought it. I hope that you all remember what thats like and try it sometimes, downloading contributes nothing to the artist. Show support for the people you like. Anyways, my first impression on hearing the album was all the songs sort of ran together. Like if you weren't paying attention, you wouldn't know what song it was on. But then I listened to the album again from back to front and it was incredible. The cd starts off with the song "The Package", which is one of the best songs on there. The drums,bass,vocals, and guitar are weaved so tight together its beautiful. "Weak and Powerless" is another really stand out track. It really shows how light a guitarist can play and still have it make a deep impression on the song. "Blue" is another great track show caseing the amazing layering job Billy Howerdell does making all his guitar parts seemlessly run together. "The Outsider" is another incredible track that is built around the guitar uplifting the amazing vocals of Maynard Keenan ( he's also the singer of Tool). The album really comes to a peak at the song "The Nurse Who Loved Me". The song is soooo beautiful. Its really quite amazing that this band would take a chance on a song like this, its amazing. This song is unlike anything on this or the last album. It has a stringed arragenment which were all done on guitar by the band. How might you say? There a effects unit that can change what you are playing on the guitar into other stringed instruments. Nickelback used it on the song "Someday", quite alot of guitarist seem to use them these days. The overall sound, incredible!
Lyrics — 10
The lyrics are ingenious from start to finsh. From the opening lines of "The Package" which read as, "Clever got me this far and tricky got me in, I am what I'm after, I don't need another friend". Maynard may paint a strange painting sometimes with his lyrics but there a strange beauty. His vocal range is quite stunning, his harmonies are impeccable. Each song he sings on makes in that much better. He can lift you so high and drop you even further all in the same song. His voice really completes the package, espically on song like "Blue", "The Outsider", and espically the song "The Nurse Who Loved Me", I can't say enough about the track.
Overall Impression — 10
This album is great! The fret work is estranged but beautiful. Its very innovative, nothing that can be copied! Its all original here. These guys deserve alot of credit for getting it all together. This is a must have album! Its well worth the money. Don't knock it til you here it from front to back. Some people say its a real departure from their last record and it is, but who wants to hear the same record over again?