Sound — 8
When they first started getting airplay on the radio, you wondered if this was a second coming of Linkin Park or another version of Gym Class Heroes. With a live band set providing the instrumentals for the dual MCs, they were a farcry from what you hear on the radio waves regarding the genre of hip-hop/rap. The background instruments, though they do their job for the most part, do not stand out in either of their songs (unless you count the few guitar solos, the horns in handlebars and the viola in many songs.) But, that's the route the band chose to go. Let the lyrics/MCs get their message across as the instrumentals serve as the backup foundation. Though the guitar work won't blow you away like other rapcore bands (Linkin Park and Gym Class Heroes for excample) and the viola might not match up to the likes of Sean Mackin of Yellowcard, the overall sound is good.
Lyrics — 9
If you understood the lyrics for their breakthrough single "Handlebars" you can tell that the band is working on the politically charged/point out the wrongs in the world route in their song writing. The lyrics all around in the album, though it's all wrapped around the obvious topic pointed out before, it ranks as being some of the best lyrically written rap songs than many of todays mainstream rappers. Sometimes, though after listening to this album since summertime, some songs may sound the same lyrically given they revolve around the faults in the world in the shape of words. But, I let it slide at times since the lyrics are very good in most of their songs, that it's forgivable if they make good songs that revolve around the same topic.
Overall Impression — 8
All in all, Flobots is going to unfortunately be labeled in the one-hit wonder type of genre due to the lack of push for songs onto the radio waves. The people of today, generally the youth, don't WANT to listen to politically charged lyrics and songs that point out the faults in the world today. Though "Handlebars" was released, it didn't get the respect that it deserved. In the rock side, they were a politically charged up version of Linkin Park minus the turntables and screaming. So those that listen to this genre a lot accepted them as something new with potential in songs. From the rap siide, however, even though I blatantly stated that they are better than most mainstream rappers/hip-hop artists that are on the airwaves presently (not mentioning any names of bad rappers. *cough*Soulja Boy*cough**cough*Shawty Lo*cough**cough*Dem Franchise Boyz*cough* and sadly, I can't cough anymore) But Flobots, along with other rapcore bands, will never be accepted into todays rap scene from the teens (the basis of saying what's hot or not and hip-hop is the front runner for the popular genre) for the non-inclusion of the usual sex, drugs, murder and gangs looped with a single catch phrase sang over and over again. So, aside from being one of the best rap OR rock album I've heard and getting praise from music critics, this CD will NOT reach Gold status due to the general topic of their music, because face it, how much of the population would find the topic they perform enjoyable if they haven't come to terms with reality? Get it through your heads. It's not about bitches, money and supersoaking ho's ALL the time.