Sound — 8
This album is not new by any means. It took me a long time to get ahold of it and after a very thorough listen I am very pleased with what it is. The music and production quality overall is very sub-par but that is how it was meant to be. It sounds much like the early 90's emo albums such as Sunny Day Real Estates "Diary", or The Promise Rings "Nothing Feels Good". Gritty and emotional it is very in your face and relentless. Well-written yet conventional, every chord and structure is well placed and balanced.
Lyrics — 10
The lyrics are where I believe this record shines. Conor talks a lot about small-town life and the changes that are affecting it. Consumerism, economics, and corporations all are dealt with here. Me being only twenty and recently moving in with my girlfriend, the lyrics for Man and Wife: The Former, especially hits home for me. The lyrics all paint a vivid picture of growing up, dealing with small town life, and the corporations taking them over.
Overall Impression — 9
I must say that a lot of the reason this album means so much to me is because I am going through much of the same as this album deals with. I never thought I'd say this but it really is the soundtrack to my life right now. I'd reccommend this to Bright Eyes Fans, Early emo fans, and people just looking for meaning in a small town life. Really brilliantly written and my favorite of any of Conor's work.