Sound — 10
Blue October has returned to their older sound with their newest album "Approaching Normal". it's not as experimental as Foiled but to me, that's a good thing. It doesn't have that dreamy/trancy feel to it like Foiled did. 01.Weight Of The World: a slow song, where Justin talks the lyrics for the most part, except for the chorus. 02.Say It: sounds like something that would have come off of History for Sale, kind reminds me of Sexual Powertrip at first. The drums and percussion sound cool. there's a cool little violin solo towards the end. 03.Dirt Room: the single from the album. Very simple musically but sounds great. 04.Been Down: my personal favorite on the album. it's very mellowed out. Reminds me of Everlasting Friend at first. 05.My Never: another simple song, starts with a little guitar riff played over again, then in the bridge/chorus, that riff is mixed with chords. A piano compliments everything. 06.Should Be Loved: upbeat, sounds like an 80's song to me. Guitars and violin sound awesome. In the middle an electronic organ is used which sounds cool. It reminds me of another song especially in the chorus. 07.Kangaroo Cry: verses are slow, but the chorus and bridge get louder into a really nice melody. I don't know why but it reminds me of HRSA. 08.Picking Up Pieces: moderate pace, during the verse, the percussion used sounds amazing, kindof like a bunch of bells, and a nice little beat made with a palm muted guitar. 09.Jump Rope: honestly, this song threw me off at first. it's the one song that sounds out of place to me. It's a more silly-type song for them than usual, happy. Catchy beat, and violin melodies. 10.Blue Skies: very upbeat song, not one of my favorites. Reminds me of Angel off of Consent to Treatment. 11.Blue Does: reminds me of Black Orchid, but it's not a sad song. More like a lullaby, a little like Zoe Jane from Staind. 12.The End: an extremely tense song. The main melody used in the verses keeps the tension along with Justins spoken lyrics.
Lyrics — 10
I was happy with the lyrics, overall, except for the song Jump Rope, which has extremely catchy vocals and is very radio-friendly. There was just something missing. Justin is an amazing songwriter and singer. Their lyrics may not rhyme but the way he sings them with the music, it just works, and it is an amazing thing. When he said that the song "The End" was the reason why it was parental advisory, he wasn't kidding. Many of the songs had more of an angry tone to them, which I thought worked well.
Overall Impression — 10
I am very satisfied with this album. I liked their older material more than Foiled, but Approaching Normal is like a mixture of everything they've ever done. The only way I can truly describe it is by a comparison to another bands album where they changed their sound again. The other album is All Hope Is Gone by Slipknot. Yes, I know it is an extreme comparison considering they are two different genres but it's the only thing I can think of at the moment. Slipknot started out fast, and went real heavy with Iowa, then when Volume Three came out, they slowed everything down but still had their sound to it. And when All Hope Is Gone was released they went back to an older sound, and in my opinion made one of the best records of the year. They changed and got heavy again but kept their melodic traces from Vol.3. I think slipknots vol.3 is like blue octobers Foiled in the way that both bands changed everything for a while. They picked things up again and went from sad songs back to more angry ones. The best songs on the album to me, are Been Down, Dirt Room, Picking Up Pieces and Should Be Loved. If it were lost/stolen, I would surely buy it again.