Sound — 9
Lifehouse is an alternative rock band who first emerged from California in 2001 with their debut album, "No Name Face". Almost immediately, the band received major mainstream success, with their hit single, "Hanging By A Moment", reaching #2 on the singles charts, and later earning the band a Billboard Music Award. The band would go on to produce three more studio albums up until 2010, which only continued to increase the band's worldwide success. Now, Lifehouse has returned, this time bearing yet another new album, "Almeria". The new disc is kicked off with "Gonna Be Tonight", which holds all the same qualities which made such tunes as "First Time" and "Whatever It Takes" such major hits. While lead vocalist Jason Wade does a powerful job at perfectively pushing out his lyrics, when the song meets the chorus you're suddenly struck hard by some standout, complimentary guitar playing and a rocketing drum beat. While "Almeria" features some great, return-to-form sounding songs, there are many tracks on the album which show Lifehouse musically evolving and experimenting with several different genres and styles of music. One of the best examples off the album is "Right Back Home", which is a dynamic blues-rock tune featuring everything from organ synthesizers, to some elaborate guitar work and vocals given by Peter Frampton. Now, that's something you'd never think would be on a Lifehouse album! However, this change of sound pulls off, and is actually one of my favorite tracks off the new disc. For the most part, Lifehouse gives a truly standout job throughout "Almeria", which rocks so hard that there isn't much for me to complain about.
Lyrics — 8
Lead vocalist Jason Wade does a little experimenting himself when it comes to his singing style on the new record. One noticeable difference I found was that Jason sticks to his higher register for many of the tracks on the new disc. At times it did prove to be a bit reaching, but at the same time go on to complement the blues-rock stylings featured in "Right Back Home" and "Rolling Off The Stone" perfectly. One interesting component I noticed when it came to Jason's lyrics was the occasional referencing to such songs as "You And Me" throughout the album.
Overall Impression — 8
Overall, "Almeria" is a powerfully dynamic return for Lifehouse, which shows the band tackling on some diverse styles of music that longtime fans may not yet be accustomed to hearing from this California rock group. However, the product of this experimentation is downright fantastic, not to mention that there is still plenty of pop-rock goodness slathered throughout the new record. For any established fan of Lifehouse, picking up this new album should be a no-brainer. For any fan of pop-rock, blues rock, straight up rock and roll, that you might want to give this release a listen.