Sound — 7
Crossfade is an alt rock group with some tendency towards some heavy-ish riffing. Crossfade is re-entering the public eye after a 5 year absence with a strong studio release, "We All Bleed". This album is riff heavy and does a good job of remaining musically interesting throughout. I really enjoyed their first release, self-titled "Crossfade", but I somehow missed their second release. You can hear a band that has honed its chops, honed its song-writing and has come back with a vengeance when you listen to "We All Bleed" after listening to their first release, the self-titled "Crossfade". After their second studio release, "Falling Away", they were dropped from Columbia records, and lead vocalist and guitarist, Ed Sloan, became discouraged and left his music career behind in 2008. In 2009, Les Hall, lead guitar and keyboards, talked Ed Sloan into returning to the group. They released a demo of the song "We All Bleed" and began work on the album. There are several emotionally strong riffs, interesting intros and outros, powerful choruses, good song-writing, mostly solid vocal delivery, a couple of truly awesome solos (not so much in the concept of a shredding solo, but more of very emotive soloing). The album has its low points, also most notably track number 4 - "Prove You Wrong" - to me the song is just cheesy. The lyrics and instrumentation is very cheesy and it is right on the border of being bad techno music. Luckily, "Prove You Wrong" stands by itself as being a bad song. The rest of the album is immensely listen-able, with several very good stand out songs.
Lyrics — 7
Overall, the vocal delivery is strong throughout the album and the lyrics are interesting. Ed Sloan shows a strong commitment and emotional connection to the majority of the songs on the album, with the exception of "Prove You Wrong". The lyrics all seem like they are straight up honesty, which is what lyrics should be in an ideal world. The lyrics of "Killing Me Inside" show a vivid picture of trying to reconcile reality with where we dreamed we would be: "There's a dream I cannot see / And it laughs for all too long / Open eyes stare down at me / And it sings the same old song / Now its raining down on me / And I can't believe they're gone / All the dreams I used to see / Is now killing me inside". The song "Dear Cocaine" has to be the most interesting song lyrically. The lyrics read out like a Dear John letter to Cocaine. The song is an attack on addiction and about taking a stand and wresting control of your life back from this evil substance.
Overall Impression — 8
While I don't think that "We All Bleed" is the release of the year, it is definitely a solid album worth checking out. While I purchase several dozen albums a year, I may find half a dozen albums that find a place on my mp3 player. I think "We All Bleed" may have found a place in my playlist. It isn't the best album ever, but it is definitely worth a listen. My favorite songs from the album would probably be "Dear Cocaine", "Suffocate", "Open Up Your Eyes", "We All Bleed", and "Make Me A Believer". "Dear Cocaine" is gold because of the way the lyrics come across like a Dear John letter written to Cocaine. "Suffocate" won me over with the chanting intro and outro. "We All Bleed" is a really strong song and between the choir like vocals, the creepy intro and the awesome riffs, this is my favorite song on the album. "Open Up Your Eyes" won me over with the solo, which I found really interesting. "Make Me A Believer" is my second favorite song on the album. With the acoustic intro you become engaged in the song, and by the time the heavy riffing comes in you are invested in the song. The riffs are nice, the solo is interesting, and the song goes on for a long time but manages to stay interesting.