Sound — 9
Lovers and haters cannot deny: Creed is one of the bands we will look back on when we're 60, and still respect. Take away all the publicity crap, take away whether you really care about Scott Stapp or not, and you have a great rock album. These guys established their sound on this debut album, and they kept it. They are a Christian rock outfit, whether you like it or not, except they don't beat your face in with it. This album is heavier than the next 2 albums, and the songs are longer. The average song is about 5 minutes long, and yet it's not droning slow rock or love songs. They just have so much to put into a song, between Mark Tremonti's brilliant guitar, which has a sound he holds to himself, the very fitting bass and drum work, and Scott Stapp's lyrical mind-maze. If you ever consider that they went very mainstream, this was before that time. If you don't think they did, then this is them at their most raw point.
Lyrics — 8
Lyrical mind-maze. You have to listen to the lyrics and think and read and debate and even then, you still can have no idea what he is singing about. He seems to be somewhat distant on a few songs, however. Ode, Unforgiven and Sister seem to be somewhat lacking in the emotion that I know Scott can put into a song. On other songs, however, he puts in parts that you know they didn't write into the songs. On "What's This Life For" he throws in a "Don't have to settle no God-damned score." I don't think that they really put this when they wrote it, but he did it in production, and it works, and shows his emotion.
Overall Impression — 8
I'm going to go ahead and compare them to Alterbridge and Scott Stapp's solo deal-e-o he's got going on. Before you beat me over the head with the idea that neither is like Creed, compare this album to Alterbridge's debut album, and it's hard not to see the similarities. I think the most impressive songs have to be "My Own Prison" for being like a story, while maintaining the hard rock feel. I also enjoy "Illusion" for it's simple, but very memorable bass intro. My last favorite is the aforementioned "What's This Life For" which is a debatable song about the destruction of some type of innocent life. In my personal opinion, it sounds like a hit on abortion, however, as usual, lyrics are up for interpretation. I love this album, overall, however, I think these guys got caught up too much in the pop vs. rock scene, and basically turned the rock scene against them. They are making quality work, it's just the outside crap that took them down. Had they continued working together, I would have liked to see a little more innovation down the road, as they have covered this area of rock, and they are talented enough to bring in something new.