Sound — 8
Disc 1 - pretty similar throughout the songs. Medium distortion, pounding drums but nothing exceptional or excessive. It's good hard rock, but fairly bland especially in comparison to, say, Queens Of The Stone Age's Songs For The Deaf. At times it even felt formulaic. Disc 2 - a real surprise as every song is different to the last (is that too much to expect on a record nowadays?) with a really good sound to the instruments. Having guest instrumentalists as good as John Paul Jones and Josh Homme can only be a good thing.
Lyrics — 6
There's some stuff good to sing along to on the first disc (read "obvious singles") but otherwise it left me cold. The Last Song in particular started to get on my nerves pretty quick. Dave Grohl decided actually singing was too much effort on this disc, saving anything particularly good for the second disc. His singing is really good when you decide you've had enough of the second rate material that is the first half of this double album. Disc two won't get annoying or bore you to tears, despite the subject matter lacking feeling.
Overall Impression — 6
As you can probably tell, I was disappointed with the first disc of this album. It felt bland, heartless and never really hit the spot. I certainly can't imagine this growing on me in the way Mer De Noms (A Perfect Circle) did for example, and it's not the thunderous monolith of heavy rock Songs For The Deaf was. I could easily live without this. Disc two, on the other hand, really impressed me. It felt to me like the band wanted to do an accoustic album but thought it would only be released with some traditional Foo's stuff there as well, so slapped that stuff in to put it out. In my book, disc 2 gets 5/5. Unfortunately with the first disc this is dropped to a mere 3.