Sound — 10
So many songs get the ultimate overhaul on this album. The problem with saying this seems to suggest that they needed it, this is not the case. The Colour and The Shape changed my life for the better, and I've been happy ever since. Perfect examples of overhauls include My Hero, building through to a massive crescendo, with that fantastic keyboard-work adding ambience, and then coming to the fore to offer a new dimension to the Foos. (Did anyone else notice a little similarity in the openings to Marigold and My Hero). The same beautiful ambiance is visited on February Stars, which is a song that never gets enough goddamned praise (Februrary Stars, followed by Everlong, seriously, what the hell were the guys on when they dreamed up that perfect little duo). Unfortunately, the only way to describe it is in cliche form. It brings the tears to your eyes, and yes, I do get tingles on the back of my neck as I sit here listening to it. The little bluesy solo at the start changes the song again, and I only lament that I can't play the main guitar part and throw that in on top at the same time!! Perhaps the only thing that stops February Stars being the best song on the album is the slight lack of fluidity to Dave's vocals, they seem a little punchy at times. However, still awesome to hear him singing it, because some Cee you Next Tuesday screamed that it was 'boring' after he played it live, and he said he'd never play it again. Everlong, seriously, what do you want me to say? Then there's 'the hawk' uping the tempo on Cold Day In The Sun, the original now sounds pale by comparison.
Lyrics — 8
Gotta love the lyrics. Honest, simple, and yet so open to interpretation. Everlong, what do you want me to say? I think the thing to say is that Dave writes so that people can find their own meanings in them, saving the meanings for himself as a way of catharsis. I do suspect him sometimes of poor lyrics, but I believe that every song on this album has been well picked from that stand point.
Overall Impression — 10
I read a Q magazine review, and it said something along the lines of "there was an 800lb gorilla on the stage, Kurt Cobain." there were always gonna be comparisons with Unplugged, but far as I'm concerned, this blows it away. I've always thought this about the Foos, and people will disagree, I respect that, but respect my opinion. The overhauls of the songs gives them a good new dimension, sometime surpassing the original (Cold Day in the Sun), sometimes doing something new with a old favourite, see above. If I lost this and deleted it from my computer, I would go out and buy it again. I wouldn't even contemplate not having it. The ambience, the willingness to change songs and obvious talent of all 8 members, it's a must have. I've not been this happy with music since I saw Everlong live for the first time.