Sound — 10
The production on this album is precise, without sounding overproduced. The addition of ex-3 Doors Down studio drummer Daniel Adair gives them a third very capable vocalist, and their harmonies and vocal counter-melodies are candy to the ears. The album doesn't have anything ground-breaking by any means, but it sounds well thought out. The bridge in "Fight For All The Wrong Reasons" is a good example of how great production meets talented musicians. The album as a whole is balanced with some softer stuff ("Savin Me") and has some pretty aggresive, rock-out stuff too ("Side Of A bullet")and then the slow/aggresive dynamic with songs like "Next Contestant" or "Fight For All The Wrong Reasons." This is the album you need to hear with headphones first; it's sex in the ears.
Lyrics — 8
The lyrics overall are better than The Long Road. Kroeger's got great rhyme and melody construction, especially in "Animals," "Fight For All The Wrong Reasons" and "Rockstar." The latter being a heartfelt song about how we all just wanna be big rockstars. Of course, as with any writer, some of his lyrics are cliche', but that is forgivable considering the depth and/or creativity of rhyme in the majority of the songs. Kroeger is a BAMF on the vocals, and this album shows off all of his skills. He can scream, yell, sing soft, everything without showing any weaknesses.
Overall Impression — 9
These guys haven't really dropped off at all, and they're getting even better with their new drummer in. These guys are in their prime, but hopefully their next album explores some new territory. Even though the music still has a great sound to it, after about five albums it may be time to start looking for fresher material; for example, "Photograph" sounds like a rock template piece of crap to me. The lyrics are bound to be every High Schools senior song, which is why MTV will play this song until Carson Daly's head explodes. Aside from this crappy blemish on the album, the best songs (in my opinion) are "Fight For All The Wrong Reasons," "Next Contestant," "Savin' Me," "Rockstar" and "Animals." I love the fact that they don't really let up as far as intensity on this album, I really can't say I hate anything on this album (except for Photograph). If I lost this album, I'd steal the money from our bandfund to go out and buy it again. Or download it. Either way, I would have to have it again!