Sound — 6
How to describe the sound on this album? It's about as perfect as it gets. That, however, is not necessarily good news. The band has also added a lot of sound-effects to their music, making it sound less punk than what many would have expected. It's isn't all bad however, for example the children choir used in the song "Good and Ready" (it might be a cliche, but it touched me anyway) and the perfectionism, no matter if it pushes the punkish sound a little bit in the background, makes the bands messages more clear than ever. Another thing I noticed about this album is the lenght of all the songs. Almost every song are more than 3 minutes long, which would have been a good thing if they were a bit innovative. When they mostly sound the same all the way through, however, it just gets boring.
Lyrics — 10
The Lyrics are as good as ever. Maybe even better. Issues of war (of course), the environment, the beauty hystery, death penalty and our (the grown up populations) responsibility to take care of the world we are supposed to hand over to our children. What about the vocals then? Well, they sound about the same as they always have. Which is exellent, since both Justin Sanes complaining and angst-filled vocals and Chris #2's more angry voice are perfect at getting their message through. This is an angry record demaning change, bothing when it comes to lyrics and the sound.
Overall Impression — 6
Anti-Flag has been active for quite a few years now, and produces a lot of great records. The Bright Lights of America is another good record, but compared to Underground Network and The Terror State it doesn't really have much to offer. Some songs, however, makes the album worthwile: The Bright Lights of America (which is also the title of the album); a song about how much pain and insecureness the beauty hystery can bring is a pretty good, straight foreward punkrock song. Vices is also pretty good, though not good enough to really stand out. The Modern Rome Burning is one of the best songs of the album, and the most typical Anti-Flag song in my opinion. If You Wanna Steal (You Better Learn How to Lie) is anoter awesome song, actually one of the bands best of all times. And, finally, we got The Smartest Bomb, which is the most angry, most punkish song of the album. Awesome. Then again, there are some bad songs as well. Good Ready (exept for the part with the children choir), No Warning and Go West are all terrible songs, which also are way to long. All in all, the album is worth picking up for anyone who is already a fan of the band. If you aren't however, it is better to go for Underground Network or The Terror State instead.