Sound — 10
The sound QUALITY of the album is great. To new listeners that is...On thier older albums, The Trio had a more "unfinished" sound to thier songs...I really love both sounds, but one thing I do miss...Is the way Dan's bass lines used to stand out...Just lsiten to some of their older songs like "Goodbye Forever", and listen to the bass sounds...awesome...But they "produced" that cool sound out...otherwise, I like it.
Lyrics — 10
As others have stated, Matt Skiba and Dan Andriano continue on with thier dark lyrics...Yes, Dan's songs are quite happier sounding, considering he just got married...Let be break down each song lyrically. 1. This Could Be Love-Very very dark song from Matt...Remember, he's not talking about playing in his bloood himself...My take is, anotehr failed relationship, except this time it has sent him over the edge....he's gone quite mad....His ex is disgusted with Matt, as is Matt himse;f (I'd do the same if I saw me)...and he'd rather have her "off" him then continue on like this (I swear its not contagious, in 4 short steps we can erase this)...And he then gives her 4 steps to be rid of him... 2. We've Had Enough-The meaning of this song is quite simple...The verse's of the song don't really go wit hthe chorus though if you ask me...Still a good song with a good 3 chord solo. 3. 100 Stories-Dan's first appearance as the main vocalist on the album....On this song he lingers between his old, sad self, with his new, reborn happy self...He seems to be singing to his new ife...and then letting her and everyone else know how he has "seen the light" so to speak..."I was getting bored, with hurting myself...If you fall down enough, well soon enough, you will find hell...IT can't be as, as pretty as, we hoped it would be...Its not even warm there, not even 10 degree's"....Basically he is saying he's sick of beating himself up physically and mentally...and Its not worth it to want to die and go to hell...because if there is a god, do you really think he intended hell to be any better then earth?...Ends strong with a beldning of Dan and Matt singing...very powerful. 4. Continental-Once gain, this was already stated...losing a loved one to some sort of addiction... 5. All On Black-My personal favorite Alkaline Trio song...the most powerful chorus on the album...I can't really place what exactly this song is about....The verses seem to be about a lost love...as does the ending and the solo at the end....But onece again, I jsut love the hook/chorus to this song...Just eth way he sings it, and the words used..."Sweet blasphemy, my giving tree, it hasn't rained in years.." pure poetry...I really hope they release this song...then again, I hope they release a few others from this CD heh. 6. Emma-A song orignally written for Matt to sing, but because of his damaged vocal cords, Dan sung it...The ended up singing the chorus together and it sounded awesome...If you don't believe me that Matt wrote this, just lysten to the lyrics, the metaphor...comarping an ex lover to "A poinsetta in poisen rain"...these comparisons ring a bell?..."Shaking like a dog shitting razor blades"..."I pour out onto the floor, like liqued qhite from fallen glass"...Anyway, I didn't like this song at first, but the chorus being sung by both singers got my hooked. 7. Fatally Yours-A fiery, fast paced song wuth powerful lyrics...not really my taste, but still a real good song. 8. Every Thug Needs A Lady-Dan's econd offical entry on the album, and wow, what a love song...The title is obviously poking fun at a certain music genre hehe...This song wore out on me after a while, but after listening to it again...Just wow, its agreat love song...you can tellhe's getting married by listening to this one lol...The chrous just has great lyrics..."It's nothing I'll forget, when the moon gets tired...you were stuck to me every day...etc"...The way Dan sings it... 9. Blue Carolina-This song would make a great mainstream single...Dan really brought the mushy love lyrics for this one...And what's great about this song is it can work on three levels....If your WITH a girl you love, LOST a girl that you love, or are about to GET with a girl you love...the chorus eseically works for all three...and the hook towards the end of the song is very emoitonal and sad... 10. Donner Party-I had to watch the movie "The Shining" to get the deep meaning behind this song...For those in the dark, the Donner Party was an 1800's Wagon trail group that got stranded in the Rockies during a severe winter...They few that survived only survived by eating the bodies of the dead...Matt Skiba once again provides us with a great metaphor/similie, comparing a relationship (this is my opinion anyway) with the doomed Donner Party. 11. If We Never Go Inside-Perhaps Dan's best entry on the CD....And His last...And I can see why, becuase thsi song would of ended the CD perfectly...but Skiba has an acoustic song coming up, so instead this song just ends of Dan's portion of the CD off....a song about change, growing up, losing friends...and perhaps, now that he is getting (got) married, he is looking back on the past...the friends that have come and gone...and perhaps taht first love he was talknig about in "She Took Him TOo THe Lake"...Because he sings probably one of the most prolific and stand out love lines since the Beatles were around..."The night never ends if we never go inside...the moon is always full...your calendar, is always pinned on summertime"...He once again brings up a summertime in his life that he wished, and maybe somewhere deep inside still wishes, would never end...Perhaps eluding to that first love that none of us ever forget...He once gain has an AMAZING hook towards the end of the song, one of the most powerful hooks I've ever heard...and he ends that hook sadly..."Helps you pikc through beat up insides..."...And the references to old gorups of friends are evident throughout the song..."We made up rules to follow for good...no wonder we're (by we're, he pretty much means himself), some of us did"...and the chorus...just a great song. 12. Blue In The Face-Wow. Skiba's brused vocal cords actually do this song great justice, as it makes this sad song even more sad...By making Skiba sound like he's barely hanging on, about to give up...Once again, lost love is the theme...But instead of balming one or the other this time, Matt points out that both parties fucked up, and that both are regretting it...so he makes a final offer, a powerful offer that really ends the CD most excellently..."Your coffin or mine?"...Matt pulls off another great acoustic ballad, wouyldn't mind seeing a video for this one.
Overall Impression — 10
Overall impression: Great CD...fans of the older stuff need to stop NOT liking it for waht it isn't...and LIKE it for what it is...it's great in different ways then thier older CD's... Every song on this CD is great, but All on Black, If We Never Go Inside, Blue In the Face stand out for me most. Buy it.