Sound — 9
First off, I have to say I wasn't blown away by this album. But I think that it's far stronger if compared to other bands' first albums. The sound itself is incredibly mixed. It's made up of mostly soft guitars, blended with some heavy keyboards, and a couple of piano lines that really stick out. A strong sense of musicality is pervasive throughout this album. It's an album that definately doesn't try too hard to please the mainstream. If I had to compare it to any other bands' works, I'd say it sounds like the Goo Goo Dolls of the 2000's, mixed with a little One Republic-style melodrama, and throw in a strong sense of global-awareness and you've got this album in a nutshell. They do a lot to set themselves apart from other releases from their class of '08. For instance, their sound is far from simple or shallow, but at the same time, it doesn't seem like they're taking themselves seriously with every note. (a la U2 on How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb, no offense) As far as I'm concerned, this album is a strong first step, and I definitely look forward to hearing more of their style of music.
Lyrics — 8
Tim Edwards' lyrics are all incredibly insightful. Although the album will get a lot of Top 20 Air-play, it's not as lyrically shallow as other stuff played on Top 20 today. Edwards and band mate Danny Saitua both seem as if they're incredibly well-seasoned in writing lyrics together. Many of their lyrics contain a great deal of substance, and it's evident that both Edwards and Saitua had a strong idea of what kind of album they wanted to make, and what kinds of statements they wanted to make with their first effort. I give Crash Parallel a great deal of respect for not being too preachy in writing, but at the same time, also being able to write personally introspective lyrics.
Overall Impression — 9
On the whole, I feel many may overlook this album as one that "tries too hard." But I'll have to completely disagree with them. This album is able to cause a listener to peer deeply into his/her heart. It's able to make some incredibly astute (politically and otherwise) statements like "I know one day we'll find it And the things that we can't ignore like the casualties of war" in Casualties Of War. The pure fact that a young band like Crash Parallel say, and are courageous enough to make these poignant and important statements gives me great hope for their future as a band. Kudos all around, and I hate to write a glowing review, but in this case it's fitting. I'd definitely buy it again, I love that the album takes us, as listeners, for a ride. K.H