Sound — 8
I should stay at the start of this that I love Powderfinger, so this review will of course be biased in their favour. But I'll do what I can to give a fair review. Overall, I really enjoyed "Golden Rule". Sadly it's the last studio album Powderfinger will make, unless they reform. However, as swan songs go, it's exceptional! In my opinion it's their best work so far. For those that have already heard "Vulture Street" and "Dream Days", I would say that the sound off this album is a mix of my favourite aspects of the last two albums. It has the strong, closed fist feel of "Vulture Street", but also the more "pop" aspects of "Dream Days" - these are songs that you can sing along to and not be ashamed of! The overall sound of the album is rock I suppose, though people definitions of the genre vary. That said, there are songs which have a much lighter feel, such as the end section of "Burn Your Name". This variation is very refreshing - it allows you to relax and take stock of the sound, without causing you to have to focus on what you're listening to. The band manages to expand and find a different sound for each album, without spreading themselves too thin - each song is clearly Powderfinger.
Lyrics — 8
I personally enjoy Bernard Fannings' voice, but I suppose singers are one of the things that really separate music listeners. Most of the songs on this album are quite upbeat, certainly in comparison to some of their previous albums. Through my listening I haven't discovered anything particularly deep or meaningful, but to be honest I'm not big on the analysis of lyrics. I find all of the songs enjoyable to listen to, with lyrics that you can sing along too without having to worry about what it is you're singing.
Overall Impression — 10
If I were to recommend a Powderfinger album, it would have to be this one. I had heard good things about it, but didn't believe it could beat their previous offerings such as "Odyssey No. 5" or "Vulture Street", but after one listen I was hooked. The first two full songs, "All Of The Dreamers" and "Burn Your Name" are exceptional, but really every song on the album is a jewel. My personal favourites would probably be "Poison In Your Mind" and "Stand Yourself" though it is hard to single songs out. I can understand that Powderfinger aren't ideal for everyone, and when I first discovered the band I couldn't see the appeal myself; it took repeat listening before I caught the bug. If I were to lose this album I'd be sure to replace it! I personally think it's a fantastic album and definitely recommend giving it a listen.