Sound — 9
Cartel is a pop-punk I'll be frank with you, but man they've got some good guitar work on this album. I don't feel that there was anything groundbreaking about it but they've got good guitarists (Nic Hudson and Joseph Pepper). They've got a good variety of different sounding riffs and nicely executed power chords (I feel they really use the power chord better than a lot of other bands).
Lyrics — 8
Most of the lyrics were well written and perfectly matched everything about the music. I feel they weren't entirely Bob Dylan when it came to writing but that's probly a good thing for pop-punk. Overall they were well thought out, I guess. Will Pugh has a great set of pipes.
Overall Impression — 9
This was a big step up from their Ransom EP in songwriting and guitar. The highlights of the album were Say anything Else, Honestly Burn this City, Minstrel's Prayer(greatest ballad ever) and Settle Down. I love this album do death albeit it is a little poppy but not so much a Green Day fan couldn't listen to it. This CD is best for fans of Relient K, All-American Rejects, OK Go, and I'm gonna go out on a limb and say Green Day. If it were lost or stolen I would but it again without question.