Sound — 4
After the disappointing mainstream turn delivered on "Sing the Sorrow" we were at least left with a good album that held its own in a catalog full of much more raw and aggressive hardcore punk that AFI gave us in the past. In other words one can compare "Sing the Sorrow" to Metallica's self-titled release (a.k.a The Black Album) in that both were a drastic change from the first 4 or 5 albums released by the aforementioned bands to a more commercial and radio-friendly approach. Well folks if "Sing the Sorrow" is The Black Album, then Decemberunderground is certainly AFI's equivalent of "Load" (the even more radio-friendly follow-up to Metallica's self-titled). AFI has been changing their sound and incorporating more and more melody with each oncoming album. The only problem is AFI never stopped that approach and after they pushed the limit on their last indie label record "The Art of Drowning" on how much melody they can add and how much aggression they can take away, the only path further in that direction was a major label deal with Dreamworks records. So now here we are with "Decemberunderground". To old AFI fans this album cannot be recognized as even being by the same four guys. The images are changed. The asthetics are changed. The sound has changed and so has the attitude. All these changes without a doubt fit well with the current "Emo" trend going on at the time further proving that AFI had truly sold out by its true definition.
Lyrics — 7
Despite literally everything about this album, the lyrics are in a way very clever and poetic. Something that hasn't changed since some of their late '90's releases. I guess being that the lyrics are of a tender nature they fit well with these timid synth-pop/pop rock tunes. Good job with the lyrics I guess, Davey.
Overall Impression — 4
This album can be considered just a change in direction and many fans will say that AFI is true to their fans but in this case they've alienated a large portion of their original fan base and now have gained the attention of the 13 year old HotTopic girl crowd. So as far as direction I do not approve of this album and would not recommend it to anybody. The only song that truly impressed me the slightest bit is "Kill Caustic" simply because of it's "heavier" sound. That is it. There is no way i will ever go near or come close to listening to the monotonous hit single from the album "Miss Murder". Truly a loss of energy in the flow of the music purely for fame. This album has every telltale sign proving that this band has sold out and has gone from being on of my all time favorites, to being my least favorite or at least close to it.