Sound — 9
This CD carries the style of Motion City Soundtrack (MCS) and bumps it up to a new level. Although Motion City Soundtrack doesn't really utilize any ripping guitar solo's or lead guitar riffs, the overall blend of all the instruments including the keyboard sound pretty rich on this record, and I do enjoy it. This record accomplished something which I always hope happens on a band's next album: MCS still sounds like MCS but with a new twist. The opening song "Fell In Love Without You," carries the usual high energy we would expect from them, while the rest of the ablum contains both slower and quicker paced songs. As mentioned before, I don't think any member really sticks out as an instrumental virtuoso, and no instrument really attains the forefront besides the keyboard or the drum machine at times, simply because of their unique sound. Because of this frontman and vocalist Justin Pierre's voice takes the forefront, which is also a nice change from a lot of rock bands, and puts Motion City in more of the pop category for it's focus on vocals.
Lyrics — 9
MCS's lyrics are one of the biggest hooks to me, I've always enjoyed the quirky and introspective themes they convey. This new album is no exception. If you are looking for Quirkey listen to "Calling All Cops," which reminds me of "Capital H." Some of my favorite lyrics are from a solo piano track "The Conversation," which ends with "Don't ever change, the way you are, I've never loved anyone more." Very poetic. Introspective lyrics are abound especially on "Can't Finish What You Started," and the CD titled song "Even if it Kills me." Another lyrically enjoyable song is "Antonia," which is almost like a laundry list of things the lyricist likes about his wife.
Overall Impression — 9
I am a big MCS fan so I'm a little biased. I really like this album and I think it's a breath of fresh air for a genre crowded with such similiar sounding bands. I can't think of any other band that sounds like MCS (besides a couple of minor influences). My suggestion: check out their singles "Broken Heart," and "This is for Real," and if you like what you hear purchase this album. Heck it was only $10 at Target when I got it!