Sound — 2
After starting up as a welsh post-hardcore band creating a middle ground, Funeral for a Friend tear up what's gone before and betray old-school fans by taking a 'pop-rock' route. They take experimentation to the extreme, or perhaps they're trying to break into mainstream rock fans so they can fill their overflowing wallets with more dosh. The terms 'post-hardcore' and 'concept album' together do not bode well. And the combination of 'concept' and the total change in sound do not leave a pleasent taste in the mouth.
Lyrics — 2
Matt sings as well as he has done before, but the lyrics have taken the same dire, EMOtional route that the music has. I'm not particularly a lyrics person, but this sounds more whiney than ever, although they do fit the U2/Coldplay sound they've opted for. Don't even go there.
Overall Impression — 2
Compared to previous albums, it has been overly dumbed down to catch a wider audience and earn more money for an already enormously popular band. Even other similar artists dare not take the same route that the once kings of british post-hardcore have taken. Rated by many magazines very highly even dubbed 'their best album yet', it will mortify original fans. After a good start, we have been let down. What do I love about it? Nothing. what do I hate? Everything. I wouldn't pick it off the shelf, and I advise true Funeral for a Friend fans to take the same action. They are no longer true FFAF.