Sound — 8
Default returned in 2009 with another CD after some bad luck with record companies. They signed with EMI Canada to release their fourth album. Their last CD, "One This Remains," released in 2005, was a very heavy album. I was hoping that the new release would be just as heavy, or even more. I am sad to say, I was not blown away by this CD. It is an amazing album, but it just does not follow what they have previously released. The music itself is similar, but there's just something missing from it. As a huge Default fan, I still love the album, Dallas' voice is incredible, and the guitar riffs are very good. There was just that little bit of disappointment in the first listen. I'll give you a breakdown of the songs and my impression of them. 01. Turn It On: the opening track is a very good one. It's got a nice fade in to a sweet main riff. There is a nice sound between the two guitars in this song, the clean picking and the heavy power chords. There is a very heavy solo after the bridge that just screams "rock 'n' roll." A great track. 8/10 02. All Over Me: the first single from the album. This sounds like a classic Default tune. Simple power chords and an intricate picking pattern. There are nice stops and nice flow in the song. It is a bit more composed than the preceding track, but still good. 7/10 03. Little Too Late: the first ballad of the CD. It is amazing. Default makes use of a reverb pedal on the clean electric which matches the acoustic perfectly. The multiple violins also contribute greatly to the sound of this song. My 2nd favorite on the album. 10/10 04. Goodbye: an intense, adrenaline-pumping song. It reminds me of something that would have turned up on their last album. It's fast, heavy, and an all around great track. The clean picking behind the chorus gives it a very full sound. 10/10 05. Show Me: another slow song. More simple acoustic chords, clean picking, and violins. It's a good song, I just don't think it fits the rest of the album. 6/10 06. Hold Onto You: another great song. It's slower, but the piano makes it sound very heavy. I love the combination of effects on the guitars. This is tied for my 2nd favorite song on the album. 9/10 07. Comes and Goes: the title track. The smooth acoustic/clean electric verse riff are good. But when this song hits the chorus, it adopts the distorted electrics and gets very heavy. There are also a lot of guitars in this song, which makes it quite complex. 7/10 08. Supposed to Be: anyone who has Default's last CD will understand this. This song sounds a LOT like the final track on "One Thing Remains," called "Found My Way Out." The opening riff and basic pattern follows that song, even the addition of a solo follows it. But it's a very good song non-the-less. 7/10 09. Caught In The Moment: another slow song, yet again. There isn't much to say about this one, sounds like other Default ballads. 6/10 10. Fascination: a great song. It's another one of the heavier songs on the album. It's got a nice main riff with some odd chords behind it. The chorus follows typical Default fashion; power chords and clean picking. One of my favorites. 8/10 11. Yesterday's Song: the best song on the album. Nice chords with a reverb pedal and an acoustic behind it. The song just flows so nice, and it sounds like a classic rock song with the addition of a keyboard in the chorus. A great way to end the album. 10/10
Lyrics — 9
Dallas Smith has gotten much better at singing since their last album. He has a nice deep grunge sound, similar to Nickelback or Theory Of A Deadman. When listening to the album, I feel like they've grown up more than their last albums. I enjoy that no swearing is needed to make a great album. There are small sexual references in some of the songs, mostly in the first song, but overall, the lyrics are great. They flow with the music perfectly. I love the highs in some songs like "Yesterday's Song." It really shows the range of Smith. The song that best fits the lyrics with the music in my opinion is "Hold Onto You." The way he fits his voice in the music just amazes me. He is a great singer.
Overall Impression — 9
Default has done well. They've created a great album. As much as I think that it doesn't compare to previous ones, it's got its own flare to it. I love the way Smith's vocals fit the music, and I love how the music is written. I dislike the amount of ballads/slow songs on the album. That was my biggest problem with it; I found the last album didn't slow down, it just kept going. But as much as I love the other's I love this one. My highlight songs are "Turn It On," "Goodbye," "Little Too Late," "Hold Onto You," and "Yesterday's Song." If it were stolen or lost, I would buy it again in a heart-beat.