Sound — 10
New Found Glory's new album, Catalyst, is definately a step in the right direction for this band. The sound is better than anything before. The songs are either heavier or slower than before. There isn't really anything in the middle. This effort blows their previous release, Sticks and Stones, out of the water. The guitar riffs are clean sounding and even more intricate than before. There are more melodies and even a couple small solos in the songs. Solos are not something NFG always does, but they can solo with the best of them (Listen to their cover of Warrant's "Heaven"). Musically, they have never been tighter. The drumming on this record is way above par. The opening track appropriately titled "Intro" is the fastest New Found Glory song ever and it literally tells the listener that they "are not the same", and they aren't. Keep in mind that when I am rating this, it is in comparison to past NFG cds.
Lyrics — 10
The lyrics here on this album are the best New Found Glory has ever done. You can tell they put thought into it. There is less about the teenage heartbreak and more about issues that relate to the fans of NFG that have been fans of the band from the beginning. They are changing and growing as their fanbase is, and that is something that you have to admire and it should be done by all bands. "Ending In Tragedy" is one of the best songs on the whole album, and one of the best songs NFG has done, period. They are now writing about issues you'd see "hardcore" punk bands writing about with the media and whatnot. They do it in NFG style though. The lyrics are catchy and I dare you not to sing along with them. The fit with the music so well. They get a solid 5 for the lyrics here...
Overall Impression — 10
This is NFG's best effort to date. Two years after the release of Sticks and Stones, you can tell they worked very hard on this record. The best songs on the cd to me are: "This Disaster" "Ending In Tragedy" "Your Biggest Mistake" In reality, the whole cd is a solid work. I like pretty much everything about it. This might still be the same pop-rock, or "pop-punk" New Found Glory, but cleary, they have grown in maturity and it's a cd you should really check out.