Sound — 10
Unlike the other studio albums, IV takes a more blues-rock approach as opposed to their normal metal approach. It delivers all the goods from the past albums plus a lot more variety of styles and feels toward the music. The bass is very upfront and the guitar is in your face. On the 4th track "Shinedown", the introduction with the harmonica is a great example of the more bluesy feel. The album closer "One Rainy Day" is a prime example of just how much their sound has matured since "Faceless".
Lyrics — 8
The lyrics are a bit more mature than the previous album "Faceless", a bit. While it's obvious they put more time and effort into these songs, they still deal with the same universal themes of lost love, depravity, and angst. The words do, however, support the music better than the other albums. I would personally say Sully does a lot better job singing this time around than on "The Other Side". The backup vocals are all brilliant and the guest vocalist on "Hollow" does a great job accentuating Sully's vocals.
Overall Impression — 10
For me, personally, this is the Godsmack record to get. It might not be as energetic as "Awake" or "Godsmack" but it sounds better. The solos are inspiring and Tony's leads are second to nothing he's done before. It is one of the finest records of the decade thus far. My favorite songs are "One Rainy Day", "Livin In Sin", and "Temptation". My favorite thing about the album is that it sounds genuine and unlike anything out now. My only complaint would have to be that "Voodoo Too" sounds almost too much like the original Voodoo, until the jaw-dropping solo that is. If someone stole this cd, I'd congratulate the limp-d*ck bastard for having the balls to do so, then rip them off. I wouldn't go too ape-sh*t because I have backed-up on my computer, but I'd be pissed. Buy this CD if you know what's good for you!