Sound — 9
Obviously, comparing their self-titled album to Them vs. You vs. Me you'll see quite a difference in their sound. I believe Finger Eleven's sound has matured during the 4 years between the two albums. I loved "The Greyest of Blue Skies," I loved "Finger Eleven," and quite honestly, I love "Them vs. You vs. Me" too (I don't have "Tip" yet). If you're buying this CD expecting another "The Greyest of Blue Skies" then most likely you won't be happy. The different overall sound of this album is best listened to with an open mind. The overall feel is much "happier" (I guess you could say) then anything of their albums to date. I hated it at first but after a week or so it grew on me. If you can accept Finger Eleven's change in their sound and can listen to this with an open-mind, you will probably enjoy this album. If not, go buy something else.
Lyrics — 7
Scott is a pretty good songwriter, I have no doubt in my mind about that but "Them vs. You vs. Me" doesn't seem to really portray that. I wouldn't call them bad lyrics, but many of the songs just aren't as meaningful as the songs on their previous albums. If you want to see what I mean compare the lyrics of "Paralyzer" to maybe "One Thing." You'll find by looking at the current single, "Paralyzer" that the lyrics, while cleverly written are pretty much just random phrases thrown together. "This club has got to be/The most pretentious thing/Since I thought you and me" is a good example of what I mean. Still, your average Joe can't write lyrics like these, so you've got to give Scott credit where credit is due.
Overall Impression — 9
Finger Eleven is one of my top 5 favorite bands (Breaking Benjamin, Chevelle, Shinedown and Crossfade being the other 4 on that list) and I can say that this album isn't as good as their previous releases. Excluding Tip, since I can't find a copy of it anywhere. Is "Them vs. You vs. Me" a waste of $10-$12? I don't think so. My favorite songs on this CD are "Paralyzer," it's catchy as heck and literally makes you want to get up and dance around. "Sense of a Spark," in my opinion of probably their most unique song yet. It has a very awkward rhythm at the beginning with the dueling guitars, broken bass drum beat and the seemingly random enter and exit of the bass guitar. You sort of have to be a musician to admire it. "Falling On," "Lost My Way," and "So-So Suicide" are also notable songs too. The songs have enough variety that there should be something for almost everyone here. If I lost it, I wouldn't hesitate to but it again. Even though it seems every Finger Eleven fan hates this album, it will always have a place reserved for it in my CD player, and to me, that's all that matters.