Sound — 8
A more "rounded" version of the CiS sound, the piano effects on Pain on Pain are annoying but otherwise the intro to Feeling a Moment at the start of the album is beautiful, the whole sound of Tumble and Fall is so comfortable and faintly pretty, and Feeder can still smash at their guitars if they choose to on songs like PTS. As with the last album, perhaps even more so, the vocals really ring out, but that's no problem as Grant's singing goes from strength to strength. The only flaw I would pick out in the sound is that it's just a little too polished and distant for my taste.
Lyrics — 10
Grant is a wonderful lyricist. He always used to have nice touches (though the writing on echo park was weak), but on the last two albums the lyrics are flawless. Poetic, delicate, effective, and catchy. The sound of his voice is nice is the best word. It feels comfortable and very genuine.
Overall Impression — 8
A wonderful "journey," just as Grant intended it. The album lacks the two truly "great" Feeder songs that elevate CiS so much, Come Back Around and Just the Way I'm Feeling, but every song is good on its own, and Feeling a Moment and Tumble and Fall are especially outstanding. The b-sides are worth a look too. Shatter especially is very reminiscent of older Feeder. That riff is scary, and the pleading chorus is so genuine, as with all Feeder's work. It just needs one really brilliant song to raise to a 5 - this has long been a problem for Feeder - listen to their b-side collection and you find Grant has written loads of really good songs, far more than could be fitted on albums, but he has almost never broken the final threshold. Still, a wonderful and very moving album. Rock music for poets as usual. Much impressed, would happily buy it again and am buying up all the b-sides.