Sound — 7
Tom DeLonge used to absolutely hate effects and synthesizing. He said it himself. But on this album, he goes completely out of his way to add sounds and effects to these spacey, swirling songs. Much more akin to Box Car Racer and the last Blink album than anything else he's done. He utilizes the amazing drum power of Atom Willard and the sick bass playing of ex-Distillers bassist Ryan Sinn to make a massivly powerful rhythm section.
Lyrics — 9
Suprisingly, Tom still manages to write great lyrics, albeit much less funny ones. He sings about love growth and war, and they are some of his most powerful ever. The band supposedly wrote the lyrics in a room with pictures of space on one side and pictures of war on the other side. I'm not sure what this did to the writing process, but the end result is incredible.
Overall Impression — 7
This album is unlike anything Tom has done in the past, and likewise for his punk rock rooted rhythm section. "The War" is probably the most agressivce track on the album, and I think Tom sounds best on "A Little's Enough". I love the multi-layered sound of the album, but there are a lot of over-extended intros or boring choruses.