Sound — 6
Brand New. Your standard screamo band. Exepct frequent power chords and simple progressions. When they use their brains to make a few innovations, it becomes amazing. The bass-driven "Sic Transit Gloria...Glory Fades" is the best song, sound-wise, on the album. Many others are forgettable. I wish these guys would be a little bit more creative with their sounds, because when they are it is spectacular. That, however, doesn't occur often on this record.
Lyrics — 6
Lyrics: Again, standard emo fare. Songs about girls. Songs about people who have cancer. Songs about missing home. Songs about car crashes.I'll give Jesse Lacey a few props. Half of the time his observations are witty or otherwise pleasing. The other half of his lyrics are either too trite, too sappy, or just plain dumb. ("Is this the way a toy feels when its batteries run dry?") One thing I DO like, though is the shouted back-and-forth choruses and the screaming. They're both artfully done.
Overall Impression — 6
This is the best Brand New album, but their first album, Your Favorite Weapon, wasn't particularly difficult to top. This album was my favorite album for about the week after I bought it. Then I realised, "Hey, this isn't really that great." Now all it's used for is for putting the best songs, specifically "Guernica" and "Sic Transit Gloria" onto mix cds for myself and friends. If I lost this album, I probably would not go out and buy it again. Don't get me wrong, this is not a terrible album. But there are better things available for your thirteen bucks.