Sound — 8
Firstly, let me say that I love AFI. I'm definitely a more recent fan, I've only been since STS. But since I have bought and listened to every release. Anyway, about Decemberunderground. As I and everyone else has noticed with AFI, they're always trying to outdo themselves. In this case, they have and they haven't in some areas. 01. Prelude 12/21 - many people have said this track "sucked" compared to Miseria Cantare. But I simply don't compare them because they're so different. I love Prelude, with it's maybe a bit overdone rap beat, and beautiful choir voices, and cool electronic-y stuff. But I must say if I had to compare Prelude to STW or Miseria, I would say it pales in comparison. 02. Kill Caustic - in all honesty, I hate this song. I can't really tell why. As always, Davey's lyrics are great, but I can't tell why I don't like it. I guess it just lacks dimensions. 03. Miss Murder - when this song first came out, I loved it. In retrospect, I realize that I only loved it because I had been waiting so long for new AFI material. With constant radioplay, Sadly, I have grown extremely sick of this song. 04. Summer Shudder - a masterpiece. I love everything about this song. I hate those stupid telephone beeps in the middle though, they're too much of a distraction. 05. The Interview - this is probably my least favorite. There's nothing to it. In no offense to Jade, the guitar on this track sounds like it could be played by a 5 year old. But this may be just me. Because I play guitar, I love guitar-heavy music. Also, there's just nothing to it. Instead of continuing in this format, I'm going to breakdown the rest in a much shorter fashion. Love Like Winter is an ok song, again, the guitar is nothing to write home about. I do love electronics in this song, though I must say. and the video is so cool. Affliction was one of my favorites, Davey's scream is a little different from STS, but I like it better. The main riff in this song is so simple, but so awesome. Jade did a good job. The Missing Frame was another fav., The guitar again was disappointing, but Davey's voice was so great in this song. and I loved the bridge. Kiss And Control is tied with Endlessly, She Said for most favorite. I love everything about this song. The electronics in the beginning, the contrast between Davey's beautiful singing voice in the verse and screaming in the chorus, and the guitar work make me glad this song made the cut. The Killing Lights was again disappointing in the guitar department, with the exception for his very brief solo after the bridge. And I hate how Davey's tongue clicks when he says "cut". I just can't ignore it! 37mm gets a little boring after like 2 minutes, but I love the chorus. At first, I must admit that I was disappointed with Endlessly, She Said. I just couldn't get to like it. Then when it finally clicked, it became my favorite. The two bonus songs, On the Arrow and Fallen Like the Sky are great too, but I think On the Arrow owns Fallen. overall, I'm happy with it, I just wish Jade took more solos! His Dancing Through Sunday solo was awesome, I wish there was more of that on here. I didn't hear much from Hunter except for in Affliction. that bass line in the beginning is great. and I hate that there's no hidden track!
Lyrics — 10
The poignancy and ambiguity of Davey's lyrics have been something I've loved the most since I became a fan. This record does not disappoint in that department. The lyrics fit very well with the music. Nothing really seems out of place at all. Davey's singing voice seems a great deal stronger on this album, and his "new" scream, which many attribute to his vocal chord problem in 2003, doesn't seem very different at all.
Overall Impression — 8
If I had to compare DU to STS, I would say that STS wins. With STS the songs varied greatly, they all stood out on their own. With the first few listens of DU, I had a hard time telling them apart. The most impressive songs are Summer Shudder, Affliction, The Missing Frame, Kiss And Control, Endlessly, She Said, and On The Arrow. I love Davey's voice on this album, I hate how simple and lifeless Jade's guitar stuff sounds on most tracks. If it were stolen or lost, I would only replace it if I didn't already have it in my ITunes. I find little use for CD's now that I have an Ipod, and I sell them a Zia records after I copy them.