Sound — 9
Norma Jean. The band that everyone once loved, and now everyone loves to thrash. The bands third full length since they became Norma Jean entitled "Redeemer", is quite possibly the bands best effort to date. Many will not appreciate the structured sonic chaos that is Redeemer, while not as chaotic as it's two predecessors, it still packs enough of a punch to leave you breathless. The songs themselves are shorter than NJ is usually know for. The song titles aren't 5 million words long, but this album is in every sense of the word Norma Jean (I know it's two words, shut up). They have proved that changing your sound from album to album is not at all bad, and in some cases, can even be an improvement.
Lyrics — 10
This album is very awesome lyrically, Norma Jean has always had thought-provoking, well written lyrics. Their first CD (Bless the Martyr, Kiss The Child) featured Josh Scoggin on vocals, his unprocessed scream made people fall in love with the band, it was raw and felt like he was right there next to you screaming in your face. After BTMKTC, he left the band and was replaced by Cory Putnam. They then released O'God, The Aftermath, and Cory stepped up and proved that he was just as good if not better than Josh. But there are always those people that just don't like change, every since his joining the band, Cory has been trash-talked by BTMKTC fans (or Scoggin elitist, as I call them), about how he ruined the band. Well I'm here to tell you that Cory Putnam is an amazing vocalist. He really shines through on Redeemer, he retains his guttural, visceral scream, and really shows off his range with his melodic, singing parts. The changes in vocal styles on this record will really surprise and shock people. The lyrics themselves are quite good, with lines like:"You've given us user-friendly grenades, just what are you trying to say?" (from the album opener "A Grand Scene For A Color Film), and "Don't you dare insinuate me!" (from "Like Swimming Circles"). This is some of Cory's best work as a vocalist(Even though I do love the raw power he expressed on O God).
Overall Impression — 10
Redeemer is Norma Jean's best work to date. It just shows that a band can change up their sound, and still be completely amazing. I can't really say that their are any songs that I don't like. The most impressive on the album I would have to say are: A Grand Scene For A Color Film, Blueprints For Future Homes, A Small Spark Vs. A Great Forest, The End Of All Things Will Be Televised, and Like Swimming Cirlces(my personal favorite) Some of the songs kind of start of slow, but build to be equally as great as the others. If this CD was stolen, I would not hesistate to buy another copy, and if I ever found out who stole my first copy. I'd buy a Kelly Clarkson CD, and break it with their face!