Sound — 8
I've been waiting for this album to come out for quite a while now, since I love The Rasmus's previous three albums. Their albums had been getting steadily heavier, but on this release, The Rasmus have changed their direction. The big name producer (Desmond Child) might have been a factor in this, creating a more electronic and effects-driven sound than on the previous release (Hide From The Sun). I personally don't like this style as much, but the catchy riffs, atmospheric gothic rock and emotional singing are still all there, meaning this album still measures up against those from other artists. A choir has also been added in the mix, which is prominent on Ghost Of Love and Run To You, adding a bit more epicness into the mix. From a guitar point of view, I was very impressed with the solos on this album, mainly in Run To You and Your Forgiveness, and I think that Pauli should really expand on this bit of his playing. The use of more keyboards and effects is, once you've got used to it, a great addition to the sound as well.
Lyrics — 7
The lyrics on this album are fairly standard Rasmus lyrics, dealing mostly with love, death and various other common themes. I don't think that lyrics are really The Rasmus's strong point, but they do suit the music that the rest of the band creates, as they are very atmospheric and easy to remember. I especially like the lyrics to the chorus of Justify ("Give me a reason, Why would you want me to live and die, Living a lie?"). The one point where the lyrics on this album really let the rest of the song down is in the chorus of You Got It Wrong. Here, in the lyric "You got it wrong now, Cause I don't give a", it's quite obvious the next word is meant to be "f--k", but it is replaced by two rather irritating electronic beeps. This kind of ruins the song for me. Lauri, as always, is a very good singer, and suits the band perfectly. On this album, his voice is much cleaner and more produced than on the previous albums, which is good in some ways, although his voice does lose some of it's emotion.
Overall Impression — 8
Track by track: 01.Livin' In A World Without You: When I heard this as a single, I was worried about how good the album was going to be, although this song is very good, especially the catchy chorus, when the guitar kicks in. This is probably the most electronic song on the album. 02.Ten Black Roses: this title track, of sorts, has a good contrast between the quite effect-heavy, clean verses, and the heavy, distorted chorus. The lyrics aren't all they could be, but a good song. 03.Ghost Of Love: one of my favourites, mainly because of the stomping main riff and chorus, which have so much energy. The choir in the chorus is a nice touch, making it even more sing-a-longable. The bridge is also a fantastic piece of building up. 04.Justify: the first ballad of the album, and another one of my favourites. The acoustic verses build up into a beautiful distorted chorus and bridge, with plenty of emotion on display. The piano parts throughout also add to the atmosphere of the song. 05.Your Forgiveness: this song is quite heavy on production, with the effects-heavy verses and the almost clipped main riff. There are some interesting guitar parts throughout, especially in the solo, which help make the song one of the most memorable on the album. 06.Run To You: My favourite on the album. The simple and heavy main riff is epic, as is the chorus, which is memorable without being repetitive. The solo, however, is the highlight of the song, building up perfectly into an atmospheric bridge. The choir ending the song is also a good touch. 07.You Got It Wrong: probably my least favourite song from the album, partially because of the lyrical problems as mentioned above. The main riff is quite good, but the bridge's melody is too childish, and the guitar solo mostly follows the chorus vocal line. 08.Lost And Lonely: this has a nice joint guitar and string-led main riff, which is then slightly let down by a dull verse. The chorus however, is just as good as the main riff. The acoustic ending with its impressive guitar soloing also adds to the song's appeal. 09.The Fight: the main riff to this is a little odd, and I'm not a huge fan on it or the 'Oh's Lauri adds over the top. The chorus is good in places, although it sounds slightly out of place, and the vocal melody is not the best. 10.Dangerous Kind: this is a pretty poppy song, with quite a lot of effects, especially in the verse. The main riff is almost as swaggering as that of Ghost Of Love, but the chorus is too generic to be great. Not one of my favourites, but could prove a big hit as a single. 11.Live Forever: carrying on the idea of finishing every album with a ballad, this song is much more mellow than any other on the album, being mostly on acoustic guitar and piano. The chorus is memorable and emotive, and the piano sections are beautiful. Overall, I would say this album is not as good as The Rasmus's previous 3 efforts, but is still up there among my favourite albums of the moment. I kind of like the new sound, though at some times it can be tiresome, and I still prefer their older material, but overall a good album. If it were stolen, I would probably buy it again, but download it this time.