Sound — 8
The sonic qualities of this album are tremendous. What it lacks in fidelity, it makes up for in impeccable structure and catchy melodies that I can safely guarantee (from my own experience) will be stuck in your head for days. Dylan Baldi's singing definitely took a turn for the better, although very different, from the previous "Turning On," where the vocals were muddy, soft and reflective, whereas the singing on this album is loud and defined, with a very rough-around-the-edges feel to it which can't be found on any other Cloud Nothings release.
Lyrics — 7
The lyrics on this album are very relatable to someone in my position (a clueless romantic in high school), so I am definitely partial to Dylan's perspective on his subject matter. Dylan has made marked improvements on his previous lyrical ability, although they still retain the simplistic beauty that makes them unique and interesting. The lyrics also have more time in the spotlight on this album in its higher quality, so his words aren't lost in the fuzz. I find that his lyrics here meet a standard that, although not perfect, is quite high for an indie rock artist.
Overall Impression — 8
Altogether, I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of this album. The low quality of the recordings didn't detract from the music at all (if anything, improved it). The songs are short and sweet, with more emotion than a gridlocked driver on the 405. Some songs that stood out to me (either for their melody or their lyrics) were "Nothing's Wrong," "Should Have," "Not Important," and "Forget You All the Time." I very much like newer Cloud Nothings releases, but the simplicity of Dylan's earlier work, this especially, is a breath of fresh lo-fi air.