Sound — 8
First of all, I highly recommend purchasing the deluxe edition of this album, not only to get the acoustic versions of some songs (This Addiction, Dine, Dine My Darling, Dead on the Floor, and Fine) but also two extra songs that Dan sings that are excellent and worth the extra cash. This Addiction could be considered Alkaline Trio's back to the basics album recapturing the sound that gave them a huge fan base starting in 1996 and rapidly growing since their debut album Goddamnit (from 1998 and also re-released in 2008). Singer/guitarist, Matt Skiba, has said that the album sounds like if we were to make our first record now. Their old school sound certainly shines through on this album. The sound on This Addiction is not quite on that level (early material such as Goddamnit or Maybe I'll Catch Fire), and in terms of speed it never gets that fast, but it is still heavy and catchy with the newer sound (Crimson and Agony & Irony) obviously influencing this as well. The keyboards are much less apparent on this album, as promised, and the songs are much simpler with basic guitar, bass, drum and vocal structures. The album starts on a great note with the title track. This is the first single off the album and it has the old sound they were trying to convey with the upbeat rhythm and very catchy chorus. This is my favorite song that Matt sings on the album and his voice sounds awesome here. After the title track, the songs stick with the simple chord progression and pop-punk sound that only lacks the speed of their older material. The musical style of "Calling All Skeletons" is really noticeable on several of these tracks. The opening guitar riff on Dead on the Floor may sound familiar to Trio fans with the Southern Rock type of intro. The rest of the song has a San Francisco type of feel to it. Surprisingly for an Alkaline Trio song, horns are featured on Lead Poisoning, which adds an interesting dynamic to the song, giving it almost a NOFX type of sound. The song, Eating Me Alive, has a somewhat 80s sound with synthesizers added and I feel it doesn't take anything away from the song, though some fans may not like the keyboards. The simple and basic sound of the album is greatly appreciated and shows that they can still write punk songs.
Lyrics — 8
The lyrics on this cd are very similar to everything else Alkaline Trio has made which works as usual. The clever word play and dark sense of humor makes the simple songs more unique and adds more substance to them. Lines such as: Now I lay me down to pass out wasted, again. Guess that makes this the seventh time this week. (from Those Lungs, a bonus track on the deluxe version) add the same sense of humor that they had on Goddamnit; alcohol-driven love songs that they've become known for. The lyrics on this album are enjoyable especially on Dan's songs and the title track. I like Dan's songs on this album the most (Dine, Dine My Darling, Off the Map, and Fine) and his vocals are certainly top notch on this album. The only songs that come close to filler tracks are Draculina and Dorothy which Matt sings. I'm not a huge fan of these songs, but the lyrics are still decent on both of them. I really miss the way Matt sang on older albums, as it made the songs more emotional (such as in the chorus of Radio after the quiet first verse, or the final explosive chorus of Armageddon), but I realize that they've gotten older and can't always sound the same. The closest that we get to that on this album is in the title track. Luckily, Matt is still a very talented singer, so the songs still sound great and the clever, dark lyrics don't hurt either.
Overall Impression — 8
Overall, this is a better album than Agony & Irony and almost as good (if not as good) as Crimson. This Addiction will please fans of either of those albums as well as the earlier material and their punk rock origins are very noticeable here. This album ranks eighth (out of nine, counting Remains and self-titled) to me only because of how much I love the other albums, which doesn't make this a bad record at all only bad in comparison to their previous work. The best songs are: "This Addiction," "Dine, Dine My Darling," "Dead on the Floor," "Off the Map," "Fine" and the bonus tracks are all quality additions. I would consider this album a cross between the last album, Agony & Irony and the first album, Goddamnit because elements of both are so prominent. I definitely think this is worth checking out for any Alkaline Trio fan, especially if they liked the last album.