Sound — 7
The 5th record of Lifehouse is still good stuff, musically. That's the first thing I'd like to mention. And yes, some might get it anyway, I am a fan of Lifehouses Music. But still I'm trying to see this from a neutral point of view. The sound has changed compared to previous records, and I believe it's gotten more like "mainstream rock-pop/ indie rock", but nevertheless it's catchy and likely to make people sing along. And maybe that's all Lifehouse wanted, to give back to their fans by making a record with instinctive basic rock tunes and just let them enjoy the not-so-super-phat menu. For the Bryce-Leadsinging, I don't believe it to be that bad. Right, if you wash any voice hard enough through a studio computer it will sound okay, but on the other hand, tell me only one musician who sings live songs better and clearer and without any f-ups, as to what it sounds like on studio records ?! ... Anyone on your mind? I knew so. Some people might downrate this record's sound because it seems every song sounds like the other, but in that case, I'd advise people to listen deeper beyond and not compare all the songs to each other.
Lyrics — 6
The Lyrics impression to me is not as good as on Lifehouses last record "Who We Are", although I acknowledge they put songs on this one like "From where You are" which I like a lot. It seems to me that the root subject of Lifehouses songwriting, Love and Relationships / Friendships has been utilized, and nothing far beyond that would be needed. That's okay as long as people and Lifehouse-Fans can identify with the Lyrics and their message, and I believe Lifehouse have got that done pretty well. Again, this Rating is a 6.5 actually.
Overall Impression — 7
When I compare this Record to others I like best right now, like Nickelbacks "Dark Horse / All the Right Reasons" or Daughtrys "Leave this Town", Lifehouses record falls a little far behind, but it's still an important piece and maybe this Album is meant to serve as a Live Show template rather than anything else. I like this Record, would love to hear those Songs live and wouldn't want it to miss from within my Collection, but it's propably only really good for the real Lifehouse Fans. I'd still present this Album to anyone who's not a fan, just to see what they think of it. In the End, that's just what everyone should find out for themselves. I don't like the track "Near Life Experience" and maybe "Halfway Gone" is too catchy and flat. But impressive to me are the less-known songs like "From where You are" and "Crash & Burn", and the re-recording of "Everything" is nice and worked well with this Record. Give "Smoke & Mirrors" a spin. It's worth it after all (and a 7.5 really).