Sound — 10
Jerry Cantrell has always been a master of sound. With his G&L and Gibson combinations throughout the double albums. Even though many say this is like any traditional AiC album, I believe those years without any outside influence (like Layne, Sean, or Mike) made him better. I can tell that Jerry has turned a little bit away from his more rock persona to the blues. This can be heard in 31/32, Anger Rising, and Hurt's don't It. Nevertheless, Cantrell still kept his grunge style intact which is even better for his harder songs like Pro-False Idol, Pig Charmer, and Owned.
Lyrics — 9
The lyrics are thoughtful, and intense which can but be found anywhere else in present times except with Chris Cornell. The lyrics have tons of references to Layne, his childhood, personal issues, isolation, and day to day life. His skills as a singer has improved since Boggy. He has tons of more emotion, and moves with his guitar very nicely. Lyricly, Cantrell definitly took the time with each song. All of them have a great structure, and tons of imagery. The great examples are in She Was My Girl, 31/32, Siddhartha, and Anger Rising.
Overall Impression — 10
Jerry Cantrell is one of the best musicians of all time. Compared to present artists who cite him as an influence can't even come to his level of inovation, and creativity. I love the lyrics the most. Although, I gave JC a lower score on lyrics, he is definitly better then lets say Zakk from BLS or Phil from Pantera. However, when I listen to the album, I am always waiting for that 1 or 2 cranking solo that came from Boggy, but you can't have everything, right? If it was stolen I would either try to find it, and stock the sob who stole it or I would buy 2 more. One for my house, and one for my car.