Sound — 9
This album was the first without the original bassist Markku Lappalainen. It counts with participations by former Tool bassist Chris Cheney and vocal participations by producer Howard Benson and Hoobastank's webmaster Dan Berman. This is a album that will certain shock some Hoobastank "hardcorefans." They continue to make good rock songs but in this album they tried new stuff, they transpose their creativity into a new level. Prepare to hear some inovation in Hoobastank's music. They tried a lot of new instruments along with some new styles that weren't used by them in previous albums. Guitar, Bass and Drums parts are all perfectly fit. Also prepare to hear some short solos on the guitar. The production very insteresting, and the quality of each instrument is very good. You can hear two bonus tracks in the Japanese version of this album: Finally Awake and Waiting.
Lyrics — 10
I must say that one of the things that most impressed me was the vocal part. Remembering Hoobastank's previsious albuns all I can say is that this lyrics are now much more accurated. Some of them put me thinking about what I've done, I do, or what I will do. I can see that Doug Robb now talks about different subjects, instead of the theme "relationships" that was boarded by him in most of the songs from their previous works. About the melodies I think Doug Robb explored new ways in his singing and you can see he shows totally new things in his permormance. From all the songs, the ones I recomend thinking about the quality between singing/lyrics are "The First Of Me" and "Don't Tell Me."
Overall Impression — 9
This is a very different "Hoobastank" comparing with the "other" that we were used to, probably a more mature one. This won't probably sound like anything you ever heard from them. For me, they improved, and they didn't want to do just a another linear album, they wanted to surprise everyone, but above all, to please themselves. I must say that I never thought that they were going to do something like this. The tracks I recomend are "Born to Lead", "Don't Tell Me", "Without A Fight" and "Say The Same", but I totally think that this album is very solid. I think I can consider Hoobastank's best. It was one of the albuns that I most enjoyed heard! Certainly a good buy.