Sound — 7
At first listen, or even the first few, this album seems really bland generic rock. Soon you find yourself enclosed in the majestic beauty the is Crash Love. Crash Love is unlike anything AFI has ever don't before but the same at the same time. The dark angry lyrics are as plentiful as ever but much more straight forward than weve heard in years from them (think almost Shut Your Mouth and Open Your Eyes) mainly about modern day culture or from what they are saying the lack of. The pulseing riffs and clean melodys of Jade Pugets guitar are there as well as Hunter Burgans elegant bass lines and Adam carsons percise drums. The biggest difference by far is front man Davey Havok.
Lyrics — 6
As I had touched upon earlier the lyrics are as gloomy as ever but stripped down considerably from 2006's Decemberunderground and almost wouldn't be reconized as the same lyricist behind 2003's Sing The Sorrow 2000's Art of Drowning and 1999's Black Sails on the Sunset. Gone are the days of "Chrysanthemums of white", talks of the Amaranth or songs named after diseases. Enter lyrics such as "Flash, Flash, Car Crash, we're no fixtures" and "The Broken Radio Was Playing Suicide". With that being said the lyrics are fitting with the scratched gold album cover with a big flamboyant heart on it. Not all is lost there are a few songs that here are written in the traditional AFI style (Torch Song and Sacrilege). Davey Havok's vocal performance never reaches the high standered he set himself on Sing The Sorrow but FAR surpasses Decemberunderground's performance, I can't stress the FAR enough. Alot of Decemberunderground was a cross between a whine, over nasilly and a generic scream, Crash Love's is very powerful sounding no whines, but also no yells or generic screams.
Overall Impression — 9
For the first 4:25 mins. Of the album (Torch Song) you'll almost for get that decemberunderground ever existed and that this may be a b-side from Sing The Sorrow an absolutely stunning song, great opening guitar solo, best song on the album. Beautiful Thieves in my opinion is a decent song but doesn't carry the momentum at all is seems out of place. End Transmission sounds like a newer Days Of The Phoenix. Too Shy To Scream is a poppier number but opens with a good catchy riff. Veronica Sawyer Smokes is the best song the Alkaline Trio never wrote. Okay, I Feel Better Now wouldn't be misplaced on Green Day's last album but strangely nor would it have been on Sing The Sorrow. It's one of the best on the album. Medicate is the lead single packs a bit of a punch an interesting bridge the sounds more fitting on a 69 Eyes track and a great solo. I Am Trying Very Hard To Be Here opens with a raunchy guitar riff and a great verse. Chorus (backed by members of the Despair Faction) is a tremendous let down, I had mentioned the lyrics before. It seems Mr. Havok was trying very hard to be (lol no pun intended) fitting to the album and completely ruined a great song. Sacrilege is an instant classic very Punky wouldnt be out of place on The Art Of Drowning and is my opinion the second best song on the album. Darling, I Want to Destroy You, I hated for the longest time. It should of been the album closer. it has a "big" feel to it during the choruses. Cold Hands great song heavyish verses catchy chorus. It Was Mine not a particularly great song. Bridge could of saved it but the Queenish backing vocals ruin it. A weak, weak album closer from AFI, Probably the weakest... Ever. The album has a whole is far superior to decemberunderground but as a band with such a strong past it can't hold a candle at anything of their's from 1997-2003. Simple as that. Production was great (as expected from a major label band) but not over produced. If it were lost I would deffently buy it again. Like I said its a very solid album some major downs but in all great music. Check out: Torch Song End Transmission Veronica Sawyer Smokes Medicate Sacrilege Cold Hands